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
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .