- Posted May 17, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Rape, Kidnapping and Killing of Women by Governments and Militant Groups
The execution, kidnapping, and rape of women and children in the Middle East and Africa by Governments and Militant groups is common and more than unsettling. Recent news reports have described the following:
More than 200 Nigerian girls have been kidnapped from their school by Boko Haram because education for females is forbidden and because they feel they have the right to sell them into slavery to fill their coffers. This is a recurring event.
In October, 2012, the Pakistani Taliban shot 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai in the head because they were trying to stop the education of girls in Pakistan. Instead, she has become a great advocate for the rights of women and girls and has a huge audience.
The Sudanese government sentenced a 27 year old, pregnant mother, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim to death because she is Christian and will not renounce her faith. Her 2 year old child is in jail with her suffering from poor hygenic conditions. Twenty-six year old Reyhaneh Jabbari has been sentenced to be executed in Iran for stabbing her rapist.
Additionally, 625 people were executed in Iran in 2013, the highest rate in the world. Twenty-eight of them were women. The UN has called for an examination of Iran's execution policies.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning in Iran in 2006. After an overwhelming international outcry, she was pardoned on March 18, 2014 and released from jail "for good behavior." Her son and lawyer were also allegedly inprisoned and tortured during her incarceration. Her lawyer was reported to have had his genitals burned with cigarettes (CNN report) and was suspended from practicing law in Iran for 5 years.
Bashar al Assad allegedly continues to poison and starve his people with impunity despite the contract signed by Syria and the UN Security Council for the Syrian Government to relinquish its chemical weapons.
There is no question that these are atrocities against humanity. Western governments debate about what, when, and how intervene and with good cause. No one wants World War III with tyrants having nuclear capabilities. However, If we look at the impact of worldwide exposure and condemnation of these atrocities, it looks as if some things can be done. It was done in South Africa with the Aparthied government in the late 90's, the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, above, and the impact of Malala's speeches around the world. Large scale, overwhelming, and very loud and public outcry can make a difference in some cases. So while we wait for Western Governments to decide on a course of action, let us be very loud and public about our outrage. Keep it in the media and on the front page. It is something each of us can do now.