Tuesday, January 29, 2013


"Free Syrian Army fighters say they are still recovering bodies at the river, where several people were found dead." (EPA)
Aleppo Executions: 65 Bodies Pulled from Syria River
The Telegraph, January 29, 2013
"The bodies of at least 65 young men and boys, all executed with a single gunshot to the head or neck, were found on Tuesday in a river in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a watchdog and rebels said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 65 bodies were found in the Quweiq River, which separates the Bustan al-Qasr district from Ansari in the southwest of the city, but that the toll could rise significantly. A Free Syrian Army officer at the scene said at least 68 bodies had been recovered and that many more were still being dragged from the water, in a rebel-held area. 'Until now we have recovered 68 bodies, some of them just teens,' said Captain Abu Sada, adding that all of them had been 'executed by the regime.' 'But there must be more than 100. There are still many in the water, and we are trying to recover them.' A senior government security source said many of the victims were from Bustan al-Qasr and had been reported kidnapped earlier. He accused 'terrorists,' the standard regime term for people fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, of carrying out the executions and spreading propaganda to deflect responsibility. 'They were kidnapped by terrorist groups, who some are accusing of being pro-regime, and executed last night in a park in Bustan al-Qasr under their control,' the source told news agency Agence France-Presse by telephone. ... A volunteer said as he helped load one of the bodies on a truck: 'We don't know who they are because there was no ID on them.' At least 15 bodies could already be seen on the truck, an AFP correspondent said, with other continuing to arrive.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Serial Killings of Women / Canada

Serial killer William Pickton
How the Horrific Case of Serial Killer William Pickton, Who May Have Killed Up to 50 Women, Shone Light on Plight of Vancouver's First Nation Women
By David Usborne
The Independent, January 18, 2013
"Women vanish from Vancouver’s grimy Downtown Eastside with numbing regularity. But the fact a disproportionate number are of First Nations origin has plunged Canada into a political crisis. Ernie Crey, an aboriginal Canadian, is angry. It is twelve years since his sister, Dawn, vanished from Vancouver's downtown eastside -- an utterly dismal skid row of slum hotels, pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts, pushers and charities that try to help them -- and nine years since he learned that her DNA had been drawn from a pair of bloody women's knickers on the pig farm of convicted serial-killer William Pickton. It is worse when you have nothing to bury. Remains from the some victims were found at the farm, 40 minutes outside the city, and given to the families, including cleaved skulls. But nothing of Dawn was recovered. Mr. Crey might have ignored the stories of Pickton mincing human flesh with pork meat and selling it to neighbours, or having the victims' bones boiled down for pet food, but he didn't. 'I have gone there, yes, thought about it,' he admits quietly. 'Not knowing what really happened to her bothers me the most,' says Mr. Crey, 63, a member of the Cheam First Nation and a fisheries advisor to the Stolo Tribal Council. 'Barring Pickton coming forward and saying that yes, he was the asshole who killed her and the other women I don't think I will ever know'. But Mr. Crey is not despairing, in part because the pig-farm murders have not faded from the headlines. Though Pickton was convicted of the second-degree murder of six women in 2007 (the true number of his victims may have been closer to fifty or even higher), and he is now serving life in a federal prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, the case continues to shed light on Canada's most shameful secret: how its most ignored underclass -- indigenous women -- is preyed upon by men with impunity, and with terrifying consequences.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Female Foeticide & Infanticide / India

The "Genocide" of India's Daughters
Inside Story on AlJazeera.com, January 11, 2013
"Supreme Court judges in India have summoned the health secretaries in seven states over a worrying fall in the number of young girls in India. They are demanding details about clinics flouting the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act -- to determine the sex of unborn babies -- with potentially fatal consequences. The judges are blaming what they call rampant foeticide and infanticide, and they say the mindset of parents and society need to change. The UN children's charity UNICEF says the culture of favouring males in India is costing the lives of millions of young girls. The agency says more than 2,000 illegal abortions are being carried out every single day, and it is dramatically altering the balance of the population. It warns: 'Decades of sex determination tests and female foeticide that has acquired proportions are finally catching up with states in India. This is only the tip if the demographic and social problems confronting India in the coming years.' Speaking in April 2011, Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, called for a crusade against the widespread practice of foeticide and infanticide. 'The falling child sex ratio is an indictment of our social values. Our girls and women have done us proud in classrooms, in boardrooms and on the sports field. It is a national shame for us that despite this, female foeticide and infanticide continues.'