U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy, Jr. dismissed a federal lawsuit filed against Japan for war crimes involving the conscription of up to 200,000 Asian women from Korea, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. Citing the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and other international treaties, Kennedy determined that Japan cannot be tried in U.S courts. The plaintiffs, 15 former sex slaves known euphemistically as “comfort women,” had also unsuccessfully sued for reparations in Japan.
During their testimony, the women described how they were “repeatedly raped, tortured, beaten, mutilated and sometimes murdered.” While Kennedy criticized the treatment of comfort women, he ultimately agreed with the Japanese government and the U.S. Department of Justice claiming that justice would have to be sought through diplomatic means and not the legal system. The women are expected to appeal the decision.
Media Resources: LA Times, 10/5/01; Washington Post, 10/5/01
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .