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BOGOTA (Dow Jones)–More than 250 women in a remote town in southwest Colombia are refusing to have sex with their partners until the central government follows through with a decades-old plan to pave the town’s only access road.

“These women, and all of the rest of us in this town, are fed up with the empty promises from the central government,” Lucelly Del Carmen Viveros, the human rights coordinator in the town of Barbacoas, said in a phone interview Friday.

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 weibo.com 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.

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7394788.html

DHAKA (AFP) – A 40-year-old Bangladeshi woman cut off a man’s penis during an alleged attempted rape and took it to a police station as evidence, police in a remote part of Bangladesh said Monday.

The woman, a married mother of three, was attacked while she was sleeping in her shanty in Jhalakathi district, some 200 kilometres (120 miles) south of Dhaka, on Saturday night, officers said.

“As he tried to rape her, the lady cut his penis off with a knife. She then wrapped up the penis in a piece of polythene and brought it to the Jhalakathi police station as evidence of the crime,” police chief Abul Khaer told AFP.

The woman has filed a case accusing the man — who is also 40 and a married father of five — of attempted rape, saying that he had been harassing her for six months.

The severed penis has been kept at the police station and the rape suspect was undergoing treatment in hospital.

“We shall arrest him once his condition gets better,” Khaer added.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110530/wl_sthasia_afp/bangladeshcrimerape_20110530074012;_ylt=AlJ6wuh.J.eL9bk_ORdHoZY61sIF;_ylu=X3oDMTNndGQ0ZDRuBGFzc2V0A2FmcC8yMDExMDUzMC9iYW5nbGFkZXNoY3JpbWVyYXBlBGNjb2RlA29mZnB6ZjMwdG9wNTAwcG9vbARjcG9zAzMEcG9zAzMEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNiYW5nbGFkZXNod28-

Dr. Seham Sergewa distributed a questionnaire to 70,000 Libyan families living in refugee camps after being driven from their homes, originally to measure how traumatized children were from the fighting, the AP reports. The 59,000 responses she received begin to quantify the full extent of the horror suffered.

10,000 people suffering post-traumatic stress, 4,000 children with psychological problems. Then came the unexpected: 259 women said they had been raped by militiamen loyal to Muammar Qaddafi.

Sergewa’s survey originally did not ask about rape, but when women began approaching her, she added a question about rape on the survey. Some of the women described the attacks to her in terrifying detail, such as a woman in Misrata who said she was raped in front of her four children after Qaddafi fighters burned down her home. And although 259 women came forward, Sergewa believes the numbers is many times higher as women are afraid to report the attacks.

It’s not unusual for rape to be used as a weapon of war, but this is one of the first indications of the extent it has been used in Libya, since Iman al-Obeidi burst into the hotel housing foreign journalists in Tripoli in March and accused pro-Qaddafi militiamen of gang-raping her. Despite her story and reports of condoms and Viagra found in the pockets of dead Qaddafi solders, some have found the evidence of a concerted rape campaign thin. Doctors in Benghazi said they had heard of women being raped but had not treated any. A consultant for Human Rights Watch reportedly said that the organization has learned of “a few credible cases of gender based violence and rape, but the evidence is not there at this point to suggest it is of a systematic nature, or an official policy. On Viagra and condom distribution we have nothing so far.”

But these new testimonies indicate widespread trauma behind a heavy code of silence. Another doctor reported testing victims for AIDs “who were terrified their families would find out.” Some victims have already been abandoned by their husbands, while others fear seeking treatment will result in retribution from spouses or banishment. Dr. Sergewa said of the 140 rape survivors she personally interviewed, not one could she persuade to prosecute.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/atlantic/20110529/wl_atlantic/surveylibyantraumarevealshundredsrapesqaddafiforces38273_1

LOWER MANHATTAN, NY (PIX11) — An angry crowd of roughly 400 gathered outside Manhattan’s Criminal Court on Centre Street Friday to protest the not-guilty verdict of Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, the two NYPD officers who were acquitted on felony rape charges yesterday.

“We are here to say rape is not ok,” chanted protestors. “NYPD shame on you.”

Other chants included, “Why a victim wouldn’t trust the justice system. Look no further than the acquittal of NYPD officers Moreno and Mata.”

Moreno and Mata were only found guilty of three counts each of official misconduct — for entering their accuser’s apartment three times back in 2008.

Friday’s rally exploded in size and popularity overnight over Facebook.

Once the non-guilty rape verdict of now fired officers came down, activist Lori Adelman started a Facebook page, called “Protest The Acquittal Of Officer Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata.”

In less than 24 hours, her planned protest had 1400 followers.

“People are just so angry and infuriated because the evidence seemed so overwhelming in this case,” said Adelman.

This wasn’t the only protest that surfaced today.

Outside city hall, city leaders explained their frustration with the not guilty verdict.

“As a former criminal defense attorney I recognize the verdict yesterday demonstrated the imperfections of the system,” said New York Councilwoman Latisha James

Both officers were fired Thursday after they were found guilty of official misconduct.
Commissioner Ray Kelly stood by the department’s actions to terminate the officers.

“The jury has spoken.”

But protesters say firing is not enough. They want Commissioner Kelly to implement new sexual assault and anti-rape policies within the department.

“We want him to respond one week from today,” said Adelman.

http://www.wpix.com/news/local/wpix-rape-cop-verdict-protests-planned-20110526,0,6007537.story

A class action suit alleging that Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals discriminated against women employees has been expanded to include female pharmaceutical sales representatives and all women in Bayer HealthCare’s Consumer Care unit — groups who weren’t originally included in a gender bias complaint filed earlier this year against the drug giant.

In an amended complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in New Jersey, lawyers for the women said the sales representatives were paid less and not promoted as often as male peers while the women in the consumer care division were sexually harassed by Bayer executives and the company ignored their requests for help.

The original complaint, filed in March in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., by six current and former female Bayer HealthCare employees on behalf of other women at the company, seeks $100 million in lost salary and benefits. It alleges Bayer executives were openly hostile to women — especially pregnant women, working mothers and women who took maternity leaves.

Bayer HealthCare, based in New Jersey, is a division of Bayer Corp., a German company with its U.S. headquarters in Robinson.

In a statement, Bayer denied the allegations, pledged to defend itself and said it is “committed strongly to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal treatment for all employees.”

In the amended complaint, Natalie Celske, a senior sales consultant, said that in 2009 she was replaced in a district trainer position based in Boise, Idaho, by a male colleague who had lower sales results and lower overall performance. When she asked a manager why, he replied that the male candidate was “more into [the man’s] career path, not yours.”

Since then, the male supervisor has declined to consider her for any promotions and exhibits hostile behavior to her compared with how he treats male employees, the complaint said.

In a portion of the complaint that broadens the gender bias allegations to the consumer care division, Vera Santangelo, a financial specialist in that unit, said that despite several exceptional performance awards, she received less pay than male colleagues and was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting the harassment.

Ms. Santangelo alleged a senior attorney for Bayer HealthCare repeatedly made comments about her body and her attire and once made an inappropriate comment to her during an elevator ride.

She sought help from an on-site counselor and reported the incident to a company hotline, Bayer’s corporate ombudsman and an official in human resources, the complaint said.

When the harassment did not stop, according to the complaint, she confided in her manager who “dismissed or diminished her concerns and … made it seem like the sexual harassment she was experiencing was her fault or her problem.”

In a subsequent performance review, the complaint said, her manager said she was “too emotional” and threatened to lower her rating, which could prevent her from receiving a pay raise and make her ineligible for future promotions. She is currently on a short-term medical leave related to stress caused by the harassment, the complaint said.

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.