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RE: Press Conference on Fatwa

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  • Mohsin R Siddique
    If the government officials will not take action against these criminals, citizens should find them as well as those officials who are enabling them by
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 25, 2009
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      If the government officials will not take action against these
      criminals, citizens should find them as well as those officials who are
      enabling them by refusing to take legal actions against them and
      castrate these bustards! These inhuman acts against women simply can not
      be allowed to go on.

      Mohsin R. Siddique



      ________________________________

      From: "Shabnam Nadiya"
      Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:49 PM
      To: uttorshuri
      Subject: [uttorshuri] Press Conference on Fatwa

      I attended a press conference recently on Drishtipat's behalf which was
      organized by BRAC in collaboration with ASK
      and BNWLA. Faustina Pereira and Shipa Hafiza spoke on behalf of BRAC,
      Sultana Kamal and Sara Hossain represented ASK and Fawsia Karim Firoze
      from BNWLA. The parents of a fatwa/flogging incident (in Daudkandi)
      were present and spoke on their ordeal.

      Six cases of fatwa had been reported in the media over the brief span
      of the past two months. Locations: Daudkandi, Hobiganj, Srimangal,
      Companyganj, Sirajganj, Maulvibazar.

      In the case of the Companyganj fatwa, where victim and her elderly
      mother were both flogged 101 and 50 times, the police accepted a rape
      case. No case regarding the issuing or the administration of the fatwa
      has been accepted. The OC in charge of the case had been transferred.
      Faustina noted that the OC had told a BRAC officer that the police
      themselves couldn't lodge a case on behalf of the victim (as is usual
      in these cases) due to "political pressure".

      The Daudkandi case: the young girl in question was flogged 39 times.
      The parents of the girl were present and spoke with a simple dignity
      on the ordeal. The father himself had also been assaulted. The PM's
      office intervened in this case, and the girl was brought to DMCH for
      medical care. BRAC, Nijera Kori and BLAST are providing legal
      assistance to the family.

      Many issues were raised by the speakers - the need to identify which
      are the groups that benefit from a failure of democracy and human
      rights; the multi-layered nature of the fatwa issue - where
      patriarchy, local power dynamics, corruption, political power and
      leverage and other forces come into play; the lack of pre-emptive
      measures by either the law enforcement agencies or the local
      administration; the status of the appeal against the anti-Fatwa law.

      It was noted that direct phonecalls/instructions from the PM's office
      had not resulted in action by the police or admininstraion.

      What can Drishtipat do?

      The most obvious thing in my view: awareness raising. At various
      levels. About various aspects of this issue.

      Distinction needs to be made - between fatwa (as in opinion) and
      fatwa: people still connect the issue of fatwa with religion/faith.
      That no one but the state has the power to "punish" needs to be
      "messaged".

      The status of the law related to Fatwa is still unclear. Even during
      the event, there was some discussion/confusion between what Faustina
      said and what Sara said. They didn't go into a detailed discussion
      because of course that wasn't the proper forum to delve into the
      complexities of all this, but it did leave a lot of confused faces in
      the audience. Is the law a law or not? The appeal - what status does
      it have after so many years and no followup from the alleged muftis
      who lodged the appeal? Is/will the state do anything about it?

      The media does a (much better) job of reporting these cases compared
      to the past, but often there's not a lot of follow-up. What happened
      to the most "famous" fatwa cases? Not the victims/families, but the
      perpetrators. Where are they now? Have any of them actually received
      any punishment?

      Another point that interested me immensely, though that wasn't the
      place or time to follow up on this: of the six cases noted in the
      handout, five had to do with "sexual misconduct" (which can be
      non-marital consensual sex, rape, even talking to a man unrelated by
      blood). The outcomes were floggings/dorra. The woman involved was
      flogged, of course, and in some cases both male and female members of
      her family. The outlier was the Moulvibazar case - this had to do with
      land rights/encroachment (?). The penalty determined had been
      financial, when one side failed to pay off, that family was made
      ekghore e.g. the children weren't allowed to go to school, no social
      intercourse with any other people. I'd be interested in knowing what
      percentage of the fatwa cases do not have physical penalty/floggings,
      what percentage do not punish women for "sexual misconduct", etc.
    • Shabnam Nadiya
      i thought this was a moderated group? forcible castration? this is the only response we can come up with?
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 25, 2009
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        i thought this was a moderated group? forcible castration? this is the
        only response we can come up with?

        On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 7:08 PM, <> wrote:
        >
        >
        > If the government officials will not take action against these
        > criminals, citizens should find them as well as those officials who are
        > enabling them by refusing to take legal actions against them and
        > castrate these bustards! These inhuman acts against women simply can not
        > be allowed to go on.
        >
        > Mohsin R. Siddique
        >
        > ________________________________
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