Mixed reports are circulating that an Afghan woman was stoned to death for reportedly committing adultery in the northeastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. According to BBC News, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission stated that that the 29-year-old woman, Amina, was sentenced to death by a decree from a local religious scholar.
A witness told Reuters that Amina was dragged out of her home by local officials and her husband, who then stoned her to death. The man she reportedly committed adultery with was flogged and whipped 100 times and then was freed.
The provincial police chief, Shah Jahan Noori, confirmed to Reuters that Amina had been stoned to death. However, the Associated Press reports that Noori said, “With the fundamentalists and the hardline mullahs who are in that area, these things are not impossible … but I know that in this case, she was not stoned.” The deputy governor of the province, Haji Shamsul Rahman, told the AP that the woman’s father killed his own daughter out of shame. It is still unclear whether Amina was killed by her own father in an “honor killing” or if she was stoned to death by local officials for reportedly committing adultery.
Meanwhile, after pressure by the United States, the United Nations has removed its human right monitor in Afghanistan. An unnamed US official said that the move was in part because the human rights situation in Afghanistan was no longer bad enough to warrant the position, according to the LA Times.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .