Bilkis Bano condemns release of her convicted rapists in India | Sexual Assault News

A Muslim lady who was gang raped whereas pregnant throughout India’s devastating 2002 non secular riots has appealed to the federal government to rescind its resolution to free the 11 males who had been jailed for all times for committing the crime, after they have been launched on suspended sentences.

Bilkis Bano, who’s now in her forties, was 5 months pregnant when she was brutally gangraped in communal violence in 2002 within the western state of Gujarat, which noticed practically 2,000 folks, largely Muslims, killed in a number of the worst non secular riots India has skilled.

Seven members of Bano’s household have been additionally killed within the violence, together with her three-year-old daughter whose head was smashed on the bottom by the perpetrators within the Limkheda space of Gujarat’s Dahod district.

Bano and two of her youngsters have been the one survivors amongst a bunch of 17 Muslims.

The 11 males, launched on Monday when India celebrated 75 years of independence from British rule, have been convicted in 2008 of rape, homicide and illegal meeting.

The attackers have been greeted by kinfolk and members of right-wing Hindu teams outdoors the jail who gave them sweets and touched their ft in a standard Indian signal of respect.

Bano stated the choice by the Gujarat state authorities to free her rapists has left her “numb”, “bereft of phrases” and shaken her religion in justice.

“How can justice for a lady finish like this? I trusted the best courts in our land,” she stated in an announcement late on Wednesday, including that no authorities reached out to her earlier than making the choice.

“Please undo this hurt. Give me again my proper to dwell with out concern and in peace.”

On Thursday, dozens of ladies protested in opposition to the discharge of the boys within the capital, New Delhi. Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Ladies’s Affiliation stated the group demanded the state roll again its resolution.

“Bano and different survivors needs to be allowed to dwell in peace and dignity,” Mollah stated.

Raj Kumar, extra chief secretary in Gujarat, the place Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) holds energy, informed the Indian Specific newspaper the convicts’ utility for remission was granted as a result of that they had accomplished greater than 14 years in jail.

A state authorities panel made the choice after contemplating different elements like their age and behavior in jail.

Kumar stated the boys have been eligible beneath a 1992 remission coverage that was in impact on the time of their conviction. A more moderen model adopted in 2014 by the federal authorities bans remission launch for these convicted of sure crimes, together with rape and homicide.

The 2002 riots have lengthy hounded Modi, who was Gujarat’s high elected official on the time, amid allegations that authorities allowed and even inspired the bloodshed.

Modi has repeatedly denied having any function and the Supreme Court docket has stated it discovered no proof to prosecute him.

India rape protest
Ladies shout slogans in opposition to the remission of sentences within the Bilkis Bano case throughout a protest in New Delhi [Altaf Qadri/AP]

Movies on social media exhibiting the boys being welcomed with sweets and garlands after their launch from jail went viral, triggering outrage and anger from ladies, rights activists and opposition politicians.

“BJP’s bias for a faith is such that even brutal rape and hate crimes are forgivable,” outstanding Muslim parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi stated.

Vrinda Grover, a lawyer, known as the choice a “travesty and grave miscarriage of justice,” whereas chatting with India At this time TV.

Niyaz Farooqui, secretary of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, India’s largest socio-religious Muslim organisation, criticised the choice.

“This provides a fallacious sign. Following all of the authorized procedures, justice was delivered to the victims, and now the convicts have been launched. What message it might ship?” he stated.

Opposition legislator and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi took purpose at Modi on Twitter, questioning what sort of message it despatched to ladies in India from a authorities that claims it needs to empower ladies.

“The whole nation is seeing the distinction between your phrases and deeds,” he wrote in Hindi.

New Delhi-based lawyer Mehmood Pracha informed Al Jazeera the discharge of the 11 males is “another proof of the convicts’ involvement with the political management of the ruling BJP”.

“This can be a message to all looking for justice that you must have good authorized help. Except you’ve gotten an excellent authorized crew and you’re decided to struggle to your rights, getting justice, particularly beneath the present regime, is turning into increasingly more troublesome,” he stated.

UN condemns Mali’s ban on French media | Freedom of the Press News

Geneva, Switzerland – The UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights criticised Mali’s resolution to ban French media shops and referred to as on its navy rulers to reverse their resolution.

“We’re deeply dismayed by the Malian media regulator’s resolution to definitively droop Radio France Worldwide [RFI] and France24,” stated a spokesperson for Excessive Commissioner Michelle Bachelet on Friday.

“These suspensions are the newest in a string of actions curbing press freedom and the liberty of expression in Mali, and are available at a time when extra, not much less, scrutiny is required.”

Mali’s navy leaders first imposed the suspensions on March 16, accusing the 2 broadcasters of airing false allegations about reviews of human rights violations by the military.

On Wednesday, the Excessive Authority for Communication introduced these provisional suspensions can be definitive.

Journalist associations have denounced a rise in assaults and smear campaigns towards reporters over the previous yr, particularly towards representatives of French media shops. Overseas and native reporters overlaying Mali have denounced a worsening of the local weather for media professionals within the nation.

“We didn’t have this sort of scrutiny earlier than,” stated a freelancer contributing to French media, who requested to not be named for safety issues. “The scenario has bought worse since tensions between France and Mali began to extend. It’s a political problem.”

‘Pervasive chilling impact’

On Friday, the Committee to Shield Journalists additionally referred to as on the authorities to reverse their resolution to ban RFI and France 24.

“Malian authorities’ resolution to solidify these suspensions signifies simply how dedicated they’re to denying these of their nation entry to info,” stated Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa programme coordinator, in a press release.

On February 6, French journalist Benjamin Roger, a reporter on task for Jeune Afrique, was arrested and expelled inside 24 hours of his arrival within the Malian capital, Bamako. The authorities stated the reporter didn’t have press accreditation. Per week earlier, they introduced it will grow to be more durable for media representatives to acquire a media allow.

“Press accreditation has not often been demanded till now,” stated Reporters With out Borders in a press release, “and missing it has not prevented journalists from working freely.”

On April 8, Reporters With out Borders marked one yr from the kidnapping of French journalist Olivier Dubois, a correspondent for French publications Libération, Le Level, and Jeune Afrique. On March 14, the al Qaeda-linked Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), a coalition of armed teams, launched a video exhibiting he was nonetheless alive.

French support employee Sophie Petronin was kidnapped in Gao in 2016 and launched after 4 years. In 2013, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, two journalists of RFI, had been kidnapped and killed by gunmen within the Malian city of Kidal as they completed an interview with a Tuareg separatist chief.

A member of the Malian special forces stands guard during the ceremony that celebrates the national army day
A member of the Malian particular forces stands guard in Kati, Mali [File: Florent Vergnes/AFP]

In the meantime, the UN denounced how such a scenario is inducing these reporters who’re nonetheless contained in the nation to observe self-censorship.

“The present local weather is one with a pervasive chilling impact on journalists and bloggers,” UN Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani advised reporters on Friday.

“Our workplace continues to doc critical allegations of violations of worldwide human rights regulation and worldwide humanitarian regulation in lots of elements of the nation, and we stay severely involved by steps to additional shrink the already restricted civic house.”

Tensions between Mali and France have elevated since a navy coup led by Colonel Assimi Goita on August 8, 2020, that overthrew elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was supported by France.

In June 2021, France, a former colonial energy within the area, halted its joint navy operations with Malian forces awaiting ensures that civilians return to positions of energy.

French President Emmanuel Macron introduced he would begin a withdrawal of troops, about 5,100 troopers, stationed within the area since 2013 beneath its so-called Operation Barkhane spanning 5 nations within the Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

In response to the military’s energy seize in Mali, the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc and the African Union suspended Mali from their organisations and threatened sanctions.

In January, Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga accused France of selling insecurity and division within the nation and expelled its ambassador.

In response to Reporters With out Borders, Mali is ranked 99th out of 180 nations within the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

Novak Djokovic condemns Wimbledon’s ban on Russian tennis players | Russia-Ukraine war News

Wimbledon introduced the ban in gentle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tennis star Novak Djokovic has referred to as a ban on Russian and Belarusian gamers competing at Wimbledon “loopy”.

His critique on Thursday got here a day after the oldest tennis event on the planet introduced the measure, in gentle of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wimbledon, which relies in the UK, turned the primary tennis event to forestall particular person rivals from the 2 international locations from competing amid the persevering with battle.

Talking to reporters on the Serbia Open, Djokovic stated he “can not help the choice of Wimbledon”.

“I feel it’s loopy,” he added. “When politics interferes with sport, the outcome will not be good.”

He added, nonetheless, that he’ll “at all times condemn battle, I’ll by no means help battle, being myself a toddler of battle … I understand how a lot emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia, everyone knows what occurred in 1999. Within the Balkans, we’ve got had many wars in current historical past.”

The ban means world quantity two Daniil Medvedev from Russia and girls’s fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is not going to take part within the June 27-July 10 competitors.

Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Membership, stated on Wednesday, “We recognise that that is onerous on the people affected, and it’s with disappointment that they are going to undergo for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.”


Djokovic has not shied away from controversy throughout his skilled profession, most not too long ago throughout a public standoff with Australian officers over his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The tennis participant was additionally broadly criticised in September of 2021 for eating with Milan Jolovic, a former commander of the infamous Drina Wolves paramilitary unit, which participated within the genocide in opposition to Bosniaks in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Jolovic is widely known by many Serbs for saving the lifetime of convicted battle felony Ratko Mladic through the battle in Bosnia within the early Nineteen Nineties.

A UN court docket in 2017 discovered Mladic responsible of genocide and battle crimes in Bosnia and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Earlier than the dinner, Djokovic was additionally seen singing at a marriage in Bosnia with Bosnia’s Serb member of the presidency, Milorad Dodik, a widely known genocide denier who commonly advocates for the secession of Bosnia’s Serb-run entity, Republika Srpska, from the nation.