Report: Afghan Women Still Facing Human Rights Abuses
Amnesty International issued a report today asserting that women's rights in Afghanistan have barely improved since the fall of the Taliban. The Amnesty report accuses the international community and the Afghan Transitional Administration of failing to do enough to protect Afghan women and girls from human rights abuses such as rape and forced marriage.
In particular, Amnesty is concerned about the extent of violence women and girls are facing in Afghanistan and how these "crimes continue with the active support or passive complicity of state agents, armed groups, families, and communities." The report says that "nearly two years on, discrimination, violence, and insecurity remain rife, despite promises by world leaders, including President Bush and secretary of State Colin Powell, that the war in Afghanistan would bring liberation for women."
Amnesty calls for immediate steps to be taken by the international community to ensure women and girls receive protection from human rights abuses by armed groups. It also calls for the extension of International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) beyond Kabul with a specific mandate for ISAF to protect women and girls from abuses. The BBC reports that NATO has moved closer to a limited expansion of ISAF beyond Kabul due to the deteriorating security situation in the provinces over recent months. The Feminist Majority is leading the call for increased reconstruction funding and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .