Argentina News | Women

Argentina announces new plans to combat violence against women
  • President Mauricio Macri announced the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Assistance, and Eradication of Violence Against Women, a plan to combat the cultural roots of gender-based violence and support women through measures including the creation of a network of shelters.
  • The plan also includes the use of geolocation technology to ensure that aggressors are kept from physical proximity with their victims and a phone app that will allow threatened women to bypass dialing to access emergency safety services.
  • The measures come in the wake of a national campaign to combat violence against women that brought thousands to the streets in demonstration.

More:
Plan to cut violence against women launched” (The Buenos Aires Herald)
Cómo es el plan que presentó Mauricio Macri contra la violencia de género” (La Nacíon, in Spanish)
Argentina announces new gender violence plan” (BBC)

(Image Credit: Getty Images via BBC)

Indonesia Research | Sexual Violence

The Unreported Rapes of Indonesia

A recent online survey conducted jointly by support group Lentera Sindas Indonesia, Indonesian magazine Magdalene, and Change.org indicated that more than 9 out of 10 respondents who had been raped had not reported the crime to authorities. The findings come as Indonesians have expressed outrage over the gang rape and murder of a teenage girl in April and ongoing sexual violence across the country. In response, the government has pledged to begin tracking and reporting data on sexual violence in the country.

25,213

Number of respondents

1,636 (6.5%)

Number of respondents reporting having been raped

62.8% (cisgender women) / 37.1% (cisgender men) / 0.1% (all transgender people)

Breakdown by gender identity of respondents reporting having been raped

93%

Percentage of respondents reporting having been raped who did not report the crime

1%

Percentage of reported cases resulting in legal punishment

58%

Percentage of respondents reporting having been verbally harassed

~25%

Percentage of respondents reporting having been physically assaulted

Read:
Over 90 percent rape cases go unreported in Indonesia: poll” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
93% of rape victims in Indonesia do not report the crime to the police: Survey” (Coconuts Jakarta)

Additional:
How a rape that was ignored angered Indonesia’s women” (BBC)

Afghanistan News | Hazaras

Bombing during protest in Kabul devastates Afghanistan’s Hazara community
  • A triple suicide attack left at least 80 dead and 231 wounded at a protest in the Afghan capital, with the Islamic State claiming responsibility for one of the deadliest attacks in the country since 2001.
  • The demonstration had been organized to protest an electricity route in the country and the perceived abandonment of the Hazara community by political leaders.
  • Afghanistan’s Shiite Hazaras have long been targeted in the country, including in recent decades by the Taliban and now the Islamic State.

Read more:
Kabul Bombing Adds New Layers of Agony for Afghanistan’s Hazaras” (The New York Times)
ISIS Claims Suicide Attack On Kabul Protest By Hazara Minority, Dozens Killed” (The Huffington Post)
Kabul explosion: Islamic State ‘admits attack on Hazara protest’” (BBC)

(Image Credit: Adam Ferguson/The New York Times)

Japan News | People with Disabilities

Mass stabbing attack at facility for the disabled in Japan leaves at least 19 dead, dozens wounded
  • The Tsukui Yamayuri-en care facility in Sagamihara, an hour west of Tokyo, came under attack in the early morning hours by a former employee.
  • The knife attack was reportedly the worst mass killing in the country in decades, with additional reports of as many as 45 wounded.
  • The attacker allegedly indicated an anti-disability motive upon turning himself in.

Read more:
Man fatally stabs 15, wounds 45 in predawn attack at Kanagawa care facility, is arrested” (The Japan Times)
Japan knife attack: 15 killed and dozens wounded in stabbing” (The Guardian)
Knife Attack Kills at Least 15 in Tokyo Suburb” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: via The Japan Times)

ClimateWatch | Turkey

ClimateWatch
Turkey’s “Purge”

The recent attempted coup by a faction within Turkey’s military has left the country in the throes of uncertainty, further increasing citizens’ and human rights watchdogs’ already pronounced concerns about the future of civil liberties in Turkey. Ground zero for the attempted overthrow of the government were Ankara and Istanbul, home to journalists overrun on the air by military forces and ordinary citizens called into the streets by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan via FaceTime.

Daylight illuminated the deaths of nearly 300, the wounds of the 1,400 injured, and the beginning of a so-called “purge” that has further endangered groups already vulnerable under Erdogan’s regime: political critics, journalists, and intellectuals. Women, too, found themselves targeted amidst the instability, and Turkish Kurds worry that the aftermath will further heighten anti-Kurd sentiment.

But the coup attempt and retaliation are only the latest in Turkey’s security woes. Terrorist attacks in Istanbul and Ankara, conflict with Kurdish militants and pro-Kurd advocates, ongoing intimidation and blackouts of journalists and political dissidents, and a regional refugee crisis have upended the tenuous stability in the country secured through a 2013 ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). While the restoration of Erdogan’s government was seen as a victory for democracy, Turks and observers alike fear what measures Erdogan, already intolerant of dissent, will take in its wake.

Here is a look at coverage of the destabilizing security situation for at-risk communities in Turkey: Continue reading ClimateWatch | Turkey

Brazil News | LGBT

Brazil sees sharp uptick in violence against its LGBT community
  • Nearly 1,600 LGBT people have been murdered in the last four-and-a-half years according to one advocacy group.
  • Despite Brazil’s reputation for tolerance, a growing evangelical population steadily amassing political power has led a conservative backlash to the country’s progressive legal integration and protection of sexual and gender minorities.
  • The homicide spike follows a general uptick in violence in Brazil, which has seen a 15% increase in homicides over the last year as the country has slid into recession.

Read more:
Brazil Is Confronting an Epidemic of Anti-Gay Violence” (The New York Times)
An LGBT Person Is Murdered Every 28 Hours In Brazil” (The Huffington Post)
We Need to Talk About Anti-LGBT Violence in Brazil” (The Advocate)

(Image Credit: Lalo de Almeida/The New York Times)

Egypt News | Political Critics

Egyptian government limiting movement rights of critics
  • Nearly 500 journalists, activists, and advocates have been deported from Egypt since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s inauguration in 2013 for having criticized the government, according to one civil rights group.
  • Critics of Sisi, the judiciary, and other government powers have been subjected to travel restrictions, limiting their movement in and out of the country.
  • Those subject to travel bans often don’t find out about their status until at airports, with the requirement of a judicial order only infrequently being met.

Read more:
Egypt’s Latest Tactic Against Critics: Block Their Movements, or Deport Them” (The New York Times)
Human rights lawyer Amin barred from traveling to Beirut” (Daily News Egypt)
Egypt: Travel Ban on Women’s Rights Leader” (Human Rights Watch, June 2016)

Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests

Black Lives Matter Globally

As a series of controversial shootings of African-American men by police has renewed attention to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., people around the world have stood in solidarity with black Americans seeking to root out racial profiling, excessive use of force, and lack of accountability in U.S. law enforcement. For some, the demonstrations have been defined mostly by a kind of international allyism, but in many parts of the world, the American movement has prompted reflection on the treatment of local black communities—native, historical, and immigrant—by law enforcement, politicians, and broader society. Here is a look at the global demonstrations and solidarity movements in the name of Black Lives Matter: Continue reading Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests

Zimbabwe News | Political Dissidents

Largest protests in years bubble up in Zimbabwe as anger over economy grows
  • Protests against government corruption, unpaid salaries, and a generally failing economy led to a general strike and street protests, prompting a government response that included violent attacks on and intimidation of citizens.
  • A prominent religious leader who called for the strike was arrested then released on technicality after having been charged with inciting public violence and later with conspiring to overthrow the government.
  • The protests have been the largest challenge in a decade to the rule of President Robert Mugabe, who has held power in the country since its independence from Britain in 1980.

Read more:
Zimbabweans suffer ‘savage’ police abuse as anti-Mugabe movement grows” (Reuters)
Zimbabwe shutdown: What is behind the protests?” (BBC)
Zimbabwe Court Frees Pastor Detained Over Protests Against Mugabe” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters)

Iraq News | Shiite Muslims

Islamic State attack on Shiite mausoleum leaves dozens dead
  • At least 35 people were killed and 60 wounded after a triple suicide attack near the Mausoleum of Sayid Mohammed bin Ali al-Hadi near Balad north of Baghdad.
  • Worshipers were marking Eid al-Fitr when a suicide bomber detonated himself at the shrine, allowing IS militants to storm in and shoot visitors and a second suicide bomber to detonate in the middle of the crowd.
  • The attack comes at the end of a global Ramadan that has been particularly bloody with attacks in Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq.

Read more:
At least 35 killed in attack on Shi’ite mausoleum north of Baghdad” (Reuters)
Iraq says Balad suicide blast is Isis attempt to stir up sectarian war” (The Guardian)
Iraqi PM fires head of security after shrine attack” (AP via Al-Arabiya)

(Image Credit: Stringer/Reuters)

Southeast Asia News | Indonesians

Three Indonesians kidnapped by Islamist extremists off coast of Malaysia
  • Three members of a fishing crew were kidnapped at gunpoint off the eastern coast of the Malaysian state of Sabah after their ship was reportedly boarded and the crews’ passports demanded.
  • Authorities have yet to determine who organized the kidnapping but suspect the radical Islamist group Abu Sayyaf and believe the abducted crew members may be held in the southern Philippines.
  • Abu Sayyaf executed two Canadians earlier this year and is still holding Japanese, Norwegian, and Dutch nationals.

Read more:
Malaysia hunting for 3 Indonesians kidnapped by armed men off Sabah coast: Police” (The Straits Times)
Armed gunmen kidnap three Indonesians in waters off Lahad Datu” (The Malay Mail)
Gunmen kidnap three Indonesians off Malaysian state of Sabah” (Reuters)

Africa News | Africans

African Union prepares to launch common African passport
  • The A.U. is preparing to launch the e-Passport, a transnational passport opening up migration between the 54 constituent countries, at its upcoming summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • The e-Passport is expected to function similar to European Union citizenship, promoting mobility and increased economic integration across the African continent.
  • The passport will initially be available to heads of state and other diplomatic and foreign affairs representatives, with rollout to citizens expected to take place in 2018.

Read more:
African Union set to launch e-Passport at July Summit in Rwanda” (African Union press release)
The opposite of Brexit: African Union launches an all-Africa passport” (The Washington Post)
As EU fights over migrants, African Union takes steps to free movement of people” (CNBC)

U.S. News | Emiratis

Emiratis warned against wearing national dress abroad after man falsely reported for IS allegiance in U.S.
  • An Emirati man in the U.S. for medical treatment was forcefully arrested in Avon, Ohio, after a receptionist at the hotel he was staying at called police to report that he was declaring allegiance to the Islamic State.
  • He was released once it was determined he had made no such declarations and received an apology from the mayor and police chief.
  • After the U.S. ambassador was summoned, the U.A.E. Foreign Ministry issued a statement advising Emirati citizens not to wear traditional formalwear for their safety while traveling abroad.

Read more:
Emirati mistaken for Daesh: Avon police chief sorry” (Gulf News)
‘They were brutal with me’ Emirati describes arrest in US after being mistaken for ISIL member” (The National)
UAE tells citizens to avoid national dress while abroad after man held in U.S.” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: WEWS News Channel 5, via The National)

Iraq News | Shiite Muslims

IS bombing of predominantly Shia neighborhood in Baghdad leaves nearly 300 dead
  • A truck bombing ripped through the Karrada shopping district of central Baghdad, many of the victims children out with their families to celebrate the end of the school year .
  • The attack was claimed by the Islamic State, the fourth such global attack coordinated or inspired by the group within the last month (following Orlando, Istanbul, and Dhaka).
  • IS, a Sunni extremist group, claimed to have attacked Shiite Muslims, also taking credit for a second bombing in the predominantly Shia neighborhood of al-Shaab that left at least two dead.

Read more:
Bombing Kills More Than 120 in Baghdad” (The New York Times)
Nearly 120 killed in overnight Baghdad bombings claimed by Islamic State” (Reuters)
Iraq: Baghdad bombings kill dozens” (Al Jazeera)

(Image Credit: Reuters, via Al Jazeera)

Cuba Feature | Muslims

The Muslims of Cuba

With estimates of their numbers as high as 10,000, Cuban Muslims have grown from a tiny group of followers to a vibrant cultural community, particularly in Havana. An atheist state under communism, Cuba has begun to relax prohibitions on religion over the years, providing a small space for Muslims amidst the country’s predominantly Catholic population. Cuba itself experiences little immigration, but a growing number of converts have expanded the presence of Islam in the Caribbean nation.

As funding from Turkey supports the construction of a mosque in Old Havana and Saudi Arabia sends religious garments, observant Muslims, increasingly visible, are now faced with educating their broader communities about a religion few have had much interaction with outside of negative television reports. For Ramadan, several media outlets have taken a look at the community of Cuban Muslims looking to practice a faith of restraint some Cubans see as foreign to their culture.

Read:
Cuban Muslims celebrate Ramadan despite the obstacles” (Al Jazeera)
Islam thrives in communist Cuba” (USA TODAY)
Practicing Islam in Catholic Cuba” (CNN, April 2016)

(Image Credit: Kamilia Lahrichi/USA TODAY)