News Archives

Former Gambian Leader Sued over Fraudulent AIDS Cure

CNN, Gambia, 5/31/2018

Three survivors of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's ‘cure’ for HIV and AIDS have sued the former leader in a lawsuit filed May 31, 2018, in the nation's High Court. The plaintiffs are seeking financial damages for harm suffered and a declaration from the High Court that their human rights were violated. All three victims underwent a treatment program administered by the Government, consisting of rubbing a concoction of herbs and spices which Jammeh had claimed would rid them of AIDS. The treatment, which was offered to a large group of people, was unscientific and faulty and caused a lot of physical and emotional damage.

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Textbook Claims Scantily-Clad Women Sexually Harass Men

Global Times, China, 5/31/2018

A Chinese high school safety education textbook claims women who wear ‘revealing’ clothes sexually harass men, sparking controversy online recently. ‘Talking in an open way or suggestive poses could stimulate men's feelings, and make them think of sex,’ the textbook warned. While some people online supported the idea, many others criticised it, saying that it would encourage men to use such an excuse to justify their predatory sexual desires. As a response to the backlash, the publisher of the book has issued an apology, and has promised to recall the books that are in supply and re-evaluate its content. However, the ideas presented in the book have already been read and internalised by many students, which sets a dangerous precedent.

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Saudi Arabia Outlaws Sexual Harassment

Economic Times - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 5/30/2018

Saudi Arabia passed a new law to criminalise sexual harassment on May 30, 2018, less than a month before it lifts its decades-long ban on women driving. According to the law, a prison term of up to five years and a maximum penalty of 300,000 riyals ($80,000) would be imposed upon sexual offenders. The move is part of a highly publicised liberalisation drive launched by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also ended a decades-long ban on cinemas, allowed mixed-gender concerts and clipped the powers of the long-feared religious police. This is a big win for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, however, many feminist activists in the country are still getting persecuted and there remain a lot of hurdles to overcome.

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Air India Airhostess Alleges 'Harvey Weinstein-Like' Sexual Harassment

NDTV - New Delhi, India, 5/29/2018

An airhostess of Air India who has accused a senior executive of sexual harassment at work place has written a letter to the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, copying Prime Minister Narendra Modi on it. In the letter, the Air India employee, without naming the officer, described him as a Harvey Weinstein-like ‘predator’ who had propositioned and abused her, and talked about how the Vishakha guidelines and other sexual harassment redressal systems failed to offer any kind of justice to her. In response, the Aviation Minister immediately urged the airline’s authorities to look further into the issue, and assured that he would appoint a separate investigative committee if the internal investigations aren’t prompt enough.

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Osaka’s LGBT Lavatory Signs Draw Flak from Those They’re Designed to Help

Japan Times - Osaka, Japan, 5/29/2018

Restroom signs for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have drawn an unexpected backlash from sexual minorities in Japan. A few years ago, the city of Osaka put rainbow-coloured stickers representing sexual diversity on the doors of unisex multipurpose restrooms in municipal government buildings in hopes of making it easier for LGBT people to use them. But the city withdrew the measure recently, following complaints from LGBT people saying that they often received unnecessary attention if they are seen entering a restroom adorned with the sticker, which often exposed them to targeted hate. People from the community argued that stickers weren’t synonymous with support, and that the Government should take actual legal measures to protect the rights of LGBT people.

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