Women's Rights Magazine Editor Arrested in Afghanistan
The editor of an Afghan women's rights monthly magazine was arrested on Saturday in Kabul. Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, the male editor of Haqooq-i-zan, which means Women’s Rights, was accused of publishing articles that went against Islamic teachings.
One of the articles that drew the ire of the conservative Supreme Court raised questions about execution and other severe punishments for adultery, thievery, and murder under Sharia law, reports Reuters. Nasab was arrested at the urging of Mohaiuddin Baluch, who serves as a religious advisor to President Hamid Karzai, according to the Associated Press.
“This is of grave concern,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “The United States is telling the world that the US is supporting women’s rights and democracy in Afghanistan. Freedom of speech is fundamental to women’s rights and democracy.”
"We are disturbed by this arrest, which reflects a recent pattern of deteriorating press freedom conditions in Afghanistan,” said Ann Cooper, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based non-profit organization that promotes freedom of the press. "We call for the immediate release of Ali Mohaqiq Nasab. Journalists should not be jailed because of their work," Cooper said in a statement issued Monday.
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. . . .