gender violence

Seven women say they were beaten up by a group of men all dressed in black after they went to Beijing from Gansu Province’s Hui County to allege corruption over earthquake relief funds.

The women published an online post yesterday in a microblog on to tell of their humiliating experience on April 27 by the men who beat them, stripped them down to their underwear in public, and sent them back to Hui County in a van overnight without even allowing them to use the toilet during a journey which was many hours long.

One witness, who described himself as a retired soldier in his 80s, wrote on the microblog: “When I saw them beating the women, I scolded them for acting like bandits. It was the most horrible, shameful, and barbarous scene I have ever seen in my life.”

In a telephone interview, 43-year-old Liu Xiuhua, one of the seven women, told Shanghai Daily they had arrived at the Dunhuang Plaza in Beijing at 3pm on April 27 planning to report a number of county officials for corruption involving relief funds released after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which also affected Gansu.

After 30 minutes waiting at the entrance of the Gansu provincial government’s Beijing office in the plaza, more than 20 men arrived in two vans and demanded that they get into the vehicles.

“The office said they were policemen, but we saw some of them with tattoos all over their bodies,” said Liu.

The men dragged an 80-year-old women into the van and stripped the clothing off four others in the plaza, in front of several male security guards and office workers, said Liu.

“They kicked and punched us for over 30 seconds before we were all thrown into the van,” Liu said. “Then the engine started, I was sitting beside a woman who was beaten into a coma and the leader of the men kept punching and scolding us.”

She didn’t know how long it took them to arrive at their hometown in Hui County, but when they arrived, it was already nightfall on April 28.

During the long journey, the van made no stops to allow the women to use the toilet, Liu said.

According to the women’s online post, the van dropped the women off at Hui County’s police bureau.

The policemen there took no action against the men but just watched them leave.

Of the local police and county officials, Liu said: “They told us that ‘you deserve this’ and said the case was closed.”

Another woman, Wang Caihong, supported Liu’s account on the microblog.

One of the victims had a broken leg and others suffered bruising to their bodies.

Officials with the Hui County government could not be reached yesterday.


DENVER – The family of missing 19-year-old Kenia Monge has been contacted by six women in the past six weeks, all claiming they were drugged at different lower downtown Denver nightclubs.

Two of those women are convinced they were slipped a drug at the 24K Lounge, the Lodo nightclub where Kenia Monge’s friends last her saw her alive in the early morning hours of April 1, 2011.

“My heart just fell to my feet,” one woman told FOX31 Denver after seeing Kenia’s story on the news.
The women, who are afraid to be identified, say they are speaking publicly for one reason, saying “if our story can help somebody else, it will be worth it.”

The women say the incident happened July 3, when they arrived at 24K Lounge.

They say they hadn’t had anything to drink and were sober, and they claim as soon as they got to the bar a man they didn’t know bought them each one shot of alcohol. A few minutes later, they were both incapacitated.

“My body just started giving out,” one woman said.

The other woman claims she wandered away from the bar and was found by a relative who just happened to be driving by.

“My legs gave out,” she said. “I was laying in the street.”

The women say the man who bought them the shot tried to take one of them home, but their friend intervened.

“I feel like we were lucky,” she said.

The women reached out to Kenia’s father and mother, Tony and Maria Lee.

The Lee’s now believe Kenia had to have been drugged, too.

“This is what we think happened to Kenia,” Tony said, “she staggered out of the bar and was wandering the streets in no particular direction, doing things she would never do. So there’s no question in my mind.”

A spokesperson for 24K Lounge sent FOX31 Denver a statement, which reads in part:

“We pride ourselves on a safe environment at 24K. We provide both a drug free and safe drinking environment…in eight years of operation we have never received any liquor violations, including those with regard to a minor…Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Kenia Monge.”

The Lee’s are living every parent’s nightmare, not knowing where their daughter is and praying for her safe return.

“I wake up every night at 1am and I start praying and I say, Jesus, please, take care of my baby,” Maria said.

That’s why they want to warn all women to be careful, and don’t end up like Kenia.

The two women who spoke to FOX 31 Denver say they wanted to go the police, but because it took them nearly 24 hours to recover, they thought too much time has elapsed.

Police say this type of crime often goes unreported.

They say that if it happens to you, you need to report it right away.

The person who did it could face drug charges, assault or even sexual assault.,0,4675535.story?track=rss

Advocacy groups are considering withdrawing from the missing women inquiry to protest the provincial government’s decision not to fund their participation.

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to walk away,” said Terry Teegee, vice-chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council.

His group was granted limited standing at the Wally Oppal-led missing women inquiry that is set to begin next month in Vancouver. The inquiry will investigate the way police and other justice officials handled the disappearance of women from the Downtown Eastside in the 1990s.

Most of the women were – or are presumed – murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton. The DNA of Jackie Murdock, who belonged to one of the CSTC member First Nations, was found at Pickton’s farm.

The council and other groups, including sex-trade workers’ advocates and residents of the Downtown Eastside, are expected to provide valuable insight into marginalized populations at the inquiry.

But the province’s decision to fund only the missing women’s families has Teegee and the others rethinking their participation.

“We don’t have funding for this. We’re a society and we’re lucky if we have any extra funds for something like this, but we don’t,” Teegee said.

In a written statement sent to the media, Attorney General Barry Penner said the line had to be drawn somewhere.

“These continue to be challenging economic times, and there are limits to how many millions of taxpayer dollars we can provide to lawyers representing advocacy groups,” Penner said.

He went on to point out that the province already agreed to fund the less formal study commission that will travel to the North to learn more about the Highway of Tears and its victims, and make recommendations.

A campaign on Facebook is calling for Saudi men to beat women who plan to drive cars in a protest next month, AFP reports.

“The Iqal Campaign: June 17 for preventing women from driving” advocates a cord be used to beat women who plan to drive. Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.

Some 6,000 people have “liked” the campaign on Facebook.

It was created in response to female activist Manal al-Sharif, who created a page calling for Saudi women to defy the driving ban on June 17.

The Facebook page, called “Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself,” was removed after more than 12,000 people indicated their support. The campaign’s Twitter account also was deactivated.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women — both Saudi and foreign — from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and those who cannot afford the $300 to $400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor.

The issue is a highly emotional one in the kingdom, where women are also not allowed to vote, or even travel without their husbands’ or fathers’ permission.

About 800 Saudi people have signed a petition urging Saudi King Abdullah to release al-Sherif and to make a clear statement on women’s right to drive.

“We are fed up,” Waleed Aboul Khair, a lawyer and rights activists said. “Be frank,” he said, addressing the country’s rulers. “For the first time in the history of the kingdom, we have hundreds of people calling for the king to be frank.”

“The society has moved. The society is not silent anymore,” Aboul Khair said.

There is no written Saudi law banning women from driving, only fatwas, or religious edicts, by senior clerics that are enforced by police. King Abdullah has promised reforms in the past and has taken some tentative steps to ease restrictions on women. But the Saudi monarchy relies on Wahhabi clerics to give religious legitimacy to its rule and is deeply reluctant to defy their entrenched power.

A woman holding a placard as she takes part in an anti-gay demonstration in Jinja, Kampala, (File)

Photo: AFP

A woman holding a placard as she takes part in an anti-gay demonstration in Jinja, Kampala, (File)

Some lawmakers and activists in Uganda say voting on controversial anti-homosexuality bill has been postponed.

Speaker of the Parliament Edward Ssekandi adjourned parliament Friday, saying there was not enough time to start debate on the bill.  The current legislative session ends Wednesday.

The bill calls for mandatory death sentences for some homosexual acts and has drawn condemnation from the United States and various human rights groups.  U.S. President Barack Obama has described it as “odious.”

The author of the bill said earlier this week that a new version of the bill would not contain the death penalty.  But no amended version was released.

The human rights group Avaaz said parliament’s refusal to take up the measure was a victory for all Ugandans.

On Thursday, the group Human Rights Watch warned that a Ugandan parliamentary committee was recommending the passage of the anti-homosexuality bill.  The international rights group also said the committee recommends adding criminal penalties for involvement in a same sex marriage.

A Ugandan gay rights activist who spoke out against the bill was murdered in January.  But Ugandan officials say the killing had nothing to do with his campaign against the legislation.

Activist David Kato had been the target of death threats since a Ugandan tabloid featured him on a list of what it called the country’s top homosexuals.

Uganda is widely regarded as an oppressive environment or gays.  Homosexuality is currently punishable by life in prison.

Thousands of provocatively-dressed women are expected to march through London next month when the growing “SlutWalk” phenomenon reaches these shores.

Thousands have taken part in such marches in Canada and the US, after a protest movement was sparked by the comments of a Canadian police officer suggested women should “avoid dressing like sluts” if they wanted to avoid being raped. On SlutWalk London’s Facebook page, 3,500 people have already said they will take part in the march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square on 4 June. Previous protests in North America have seen many women marching in lingerie.

“Some people will choose to dress like that,” said Anastasia Richardson, 17, the organiser of the London SlutWalk. “But people can come in whatever makes them feel comfortable. Anyone can get called a slut, no matter how they are dressed, no matter how they are acting. It doesn’t have any real meaning. It is just used to victimise and demean them.”

About 3,000 women took part in the first SlutWalk in Toronto last month and 2,000 more took part in another in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday. Police Constable Michael Sanguetti made his inflammatory remarks to a group of students in Toronto in April. “You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here,” he reportedly said. “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.”

He has since apologised and been disciplined by the Toronto police force but remains on duty.

“I think the reaction shows how relevant it is, especially in Britain, where only 6.5 per cent of rape cases end in convictions – and that’s the ones we know about,” Ms Richardson said.

The SlutWalk London website says it wants to end a culture of fear and victimisation. “Let’s raise our voices and tell the world that rape is never, ever OK,” it proclaims. “Not if she was wearing a miniskirt. Not if she was naked. Not if she was your wife, girlfriend or friend. Not if she was a prostitute. Not if she was drunk. Not if you thought she wanted to.”

The website adds: “All over the world, women are constantly made to feel like victims, told they should not look a certain way, should not go out at night, should not go into certain areas, should not get drunk, should not wear high heels or make-up, should not be alone with someone they don’t know.

“Not only does this divert attention away from the real cause of the crime – the perpetrator – but it creates a culture where rape is OK, where it’s allowed to happen.”

KUALA LUMPUR:The motorcyclist who has been terrorising women here by splashing a harmful liquid on them attacked four women on Friday and yesterday, leaving one in intensive care.

The first attack occurred at 9pm on Friday when two women, aged 23 and 25, were walking along Jalan Pudu Lama after having dinner.

The suspect approached the women from behind on his motorcycle and splashed the liquid on them before speeding off.
The victims ran into a nearby building where they tried to wash off the liquid. A woman, working in the building, later sent them to the Tung Shin Hospital where the 23-year-old was given outpatient treatment.

However, her companion was transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital where she was warded in the intensive care unit.

Sources said the victim suffered five per cent burns to the face, neck and hands. She is said to be in danger of losing sight in her left eye.
About half-an-hour later, the same man was believed to have splashed liquid at another woman at a parking lot in front of The Mall.

City police chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said yesterday the man’s third victim, a lawyer in her 30s, suffered minor burns and was given outpatient treatment at a nearby hospital.

He said police had sent samples of the liquid to the Chemistry Department and were awaiting the results.
Yesterday, at 3pm, the man struck again, this time in Persiaran Titiwangsa, near here.

The victim, in her 30s, was standing in her house compound while carrying her year-old child when the splasher rode by and threw the liquid at them.

Sentul district police chief Assistant Commissioner Zakaria Pagan said both mother and child were rushed to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment as the liquid had splashed into their eyes.

The “splasher” is said to have struck 24 times since February.

City police have since formed a task force to find the suspect.

However, to date, police have said the only information they have of the man is that he is of dark complexion and rides a Honda EX5 motorcycle with a carrier in front.