A Saudi woman has been executed for practising “witchcraft and sorcery”, the country’s interior ministry says.
Amnesty International says the charge of sorcery has often been used in Saudi Arabia to punish people, generally after unfair trials, for exercising their right to freedom of speech or religion.
An ethnic minority house church leader remained detained in China’s troubled northwestern Xinjiang region Sunday, March 6, after a court rejected an appeal to review his 15 years prison sentence on charges of revealing state secrets to overseas groups.
United Nations officials and local Christians have linked the sentence to Pastor Alimujiang Yimiti’s Christian conversion, his leadership of a house church with his wife Gulinuer and two sons, and apparent involvement in sharing reports of religious persecution.
Belarus has denied allegations of large-scale torture in a secret service jail for political prisoners. The statement comes after a just-released former presidential candidate and a leading activist spoke to reporters about the alleged mistreatment of inmates.
Christians, including evangelical believers, have also reported harassment from security forces.
Once again the Scientology cult is being exposed to daylight. This time there are reports that the FBI is investigating human trafficking within the cult.
Five former church staffers confirmed to the St. Petersburg Times that the FBI interviewed them individually over the past 15 months about their experiences in the church’s religious order, the Sea Org.
The US government says “At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.”
Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators
after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.
The 600-page report
, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years
, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.
It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.
The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations
, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.
Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés
. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception
in such operations.
Human rights experts have long pressed the administration of former president George W. Bush
for details of who bore ultimate responsibility for approving the simulated drownings of CIA detainees, a practice that many international legal experts say was illicit torture
In a memoir due out Tuesday, Bush makes clear that he personally approved
the use of that coercive technique against alleged Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, an admission the human rights experts say could one day have legal consequences for him.
In his book, titled “Decision Points,” Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the United States. Bush writes that his reply was “Damn right
” and states that he would make the same decision again
to save lives, according to someone close to Bush who has read the book.
George W. Bush: Torturer in Chief
Red Cross: America practiced torture
Routine and systematic torture is at the heart of America’s war on terror
The horrors really are your America, Mr Bush
Poll: On torture, evangelicals not looking to Bible, doctrine
George Bush has claimed to be a Christian
— a follower of Jesus Christ
, and many people who also consider themselves to be ‘Christians’ believe him. Yet he lied
about the fact that America — under his leadership and with his approval — tortured people. He tried to redefine torture
, but torture by any other name is just as vile
. Christians who support that kind of behavior — and those kind of leaders – are not followers of Jesus Christ, since their very behaviour shows they do not even know Him.
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
And then there’s this…
US defends human rights record before UN body
“God in America
,” a three-night joint production from “Frontline” and “American Experience” that begins Monday night, blends two subjects that most folks avoid in polite company — religion and politics. It compellingly presents an American history that has been alternately ruined and elevated by faith
, the Washington Post writes
“God in America” takes the long view and visits familiar territory: Our nation’s history is one of emphatic and often cruel Christian principle
, rescued repeatedly from theocracy and other fundamentalist blunders
by the intellectual heroics of the founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln and other non-divine interventions of common sense.
Or, because this is PBS, “God in America” can be seen a whole other way: Without its spiritual firmament, the nation would have merely been a collection of immigrants and ideas, but lacking a . . . soul.
(No word on how a nation that claims to be so spiritual manages to keep committing human rights violations
ranging from torture
to the death penalty
, and from secret renditions
to waging illegal wars
The Vatican raised the possibility Sunday of using behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to save the life of an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned for adultery
In its first public statement on the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, the Vatican decried stoning
as a particularly brutal form of capital punishment
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said
the Catholic church opposes the death penalty
It is unclear what chances any Vatican bid would have to persuade the Muslim
nation to spare the woman’s life. Brazil, which has friendly relations with Iran, was rebuffed when it offered her asylum.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
was convicted in 2006 of adultery. In July, Iranian authorities said they would not carry out the stoning sentence for the time being, but the mother of two could still face execution by hanging
for adultery and other offenses.
the death penalty is a barbaric form of punishment
that should be rejected by all civilized nations — as should the Shariah
. Islamic law is incompatible with Western civilization.
Former model Giselle Meza
’s career allowed her to visit exotic locations and world-renowned sights, but it was witnessing the worst violations of human rights
that stuck with her throughout the years.
“The more I would go on great assignments around the world and if we’re in Africa for a shoot…we were using that beautiful backdrop for pictures and for making so much money,” she said. “But behind me were these beautiful little children and women that were really just experiencing a lot of need and injustice.”
Out of her desire to help victims of human trafficking
, Meza created Puresa Organics
, a faith-based company
whose goal is to empower women through spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional rehabilitatio
n. The company then gives rescued women new skills and provides employment so that they are able to sustain themselves and start a new life.
Partnering with Project Rescue Nepal
, the company started in 2007 with twelve rescued women and has grown to 265 in three years.
Project Rescue is another faith-based organization that aims to provide a safe haven for victims of sex trafficking
Did Bush and Cheney Have ‘Bloodlust’ for Torture?
On FORA TV a panel including Ron Suskind, Vince Warren and Fisher Stevens explore
the dark corners of illegal kidnapping, confinement, secret prisons and torture
A St. Petersburg Times investigation found that more than a dozen women said the culture in Scientology
‘s Sea Org pushed them or women they knew to have abortions, in many cases, abortions they did not want.
Some said colleagues and supervisors pressured them to abort their pregnancies and remain productive workers without the distraction of raising children. Terminating a pregnancy and staying on the job affirmed one’s commitment to the all-important work of saving the planet.
A Lebanese man charged with sorcery and sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is scheduled to be beheaded on Friday, the man’s lawyer said Wednesday.
Ali Hussain Sibat’s attorney says her client was arrested by Saudi Arabia’s religious police (known as the Mutawa’een) and charged with sorcery while visiting the country in May 2008.
A large, military-led team of Moroccan authorities raided a Bible study in a small city southeast of Marrakech last week, arresting 18 Moroccans and deporting a U.S. citizen, area Christian leaders said.
“The fight against Christian proselytizing in accordance with law cannot be considered among human rights abuses,” the Moroccan government spokesman said, “for it is an action aimed at preventing attempts to undermine the country’s immutable religious values. The freedom of belief does not mean conversion to another religion.”
A daring protest and a high-profile funeral here on Monday (Jan. 25) for a 12-year-old Christian girl who died from torture and malnourishment has cast a rare spotlight on abuse of the Christian poor in Pakistan.
In an uncommon challenge in the predominantly Muslim nation, the Christian parents of Shazia Bashir Masih protested police unresponsiveness to the alleged violence against their daughter by Muslim attorney Chaudhary Muhammad Naeem and his family and his attempt to buy their silence after her death. The house servant died on Friday (Jan. 22) after working eight months in Naeem’s house.
A court hearing was underway Friday, January 29, in Pakistan against the main suspect in the murder of a 12-year-old Christian domestic servant, her family’s representatives said.
Shazia Masih was allegedly mentally and physically abused in the of Muslim lawyer Chaudhry Mohammad Naeem, in the city of Lahore, where she had worked for the last eight months to support her poor parents.
A young Christian shopkeeper was sentenced to a life term in prison and fined more than $1,000 last week following a dubious conviction of desecrating the Quran
, according to Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace.
A conviction for blaspheming Muhammad (Section 295-C) is punishable by death under Pakistani’s notorious blasphemy laws. Widely condemned by the international community as easily invoked to settle personal enmities, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have come under review in recent months, but to no avail.
MILAN — An Italian judge says he has convicted 23 Americans of the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in a CIA extraordinary rendition, AP reports.
The American suspects — all but one identified by prosecutors as CIA agents — are being tried in absentia and are considered fugitives.
The Christian mother of a 12-year-old girl in Punjab Province who was kidnapped, coerced into converting to Islam
and forcibly married to a 37-year-old Muslim hopes to recover her daughter at a court hearing next week.
The reaction of Pakistani law enforcement authorities to Sajida Masih’s complaint so far – ridiculing her and asserting that there is nothing she can do because her daughter is now a Muslim – does not encourage her hopes of recovering her daughter Huma at next Thursday’s (June 11) hearing.