Voices from Russia

Sunday, 13 May 2018

World Defends Sudanese Rape Victim Condemned to Death

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An online campaign is gaining momentum to defend a 19-year-old Sudanese woman sentenced to death for murdering her husband, who she says raped her after she was forced to marry him. The story of Noura Hussein received international attention when the details of her case circulated on social media and via an online petition on Change.org. In 2016, Hussein attempted to escape her arranged marriage, but her in-laws forcibly restrained her as her husband raped her to consummate their vows. Sarah el-Hasan, a rights activist supporting Hussein’s case, told al-Jazeera:

She wouldn’t have sex with the man; he recruited some of his cousins and brought them home where they held her down while her husband raped her.

Her lawyer Ahmed Sebair said:

The following night, when her husband tried to rape her again, Hussein stabbed him with a knife and killed him.

On Thursday, Hussein’s supporters stood behind her in the Omdurman courtroom as the judge condemned her to death by hanging after her husband’s family refused financial compensation for the killing, demanding instead that she face execution. Seif Magango, of Amnesty International said:

The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment, and to apply it to a rape victim only highlights the failure of the Sudanese authorities to acknowledge the violence she endured. Marital rape… despite being a taboo… is still a common occurrence in Sudanese society.

Nahid Gabralla is the director of NGO SEEMA, which assists gender-based violence victims and survivors. Gabralla said:

In my work, I’ve seen other cases like this. The suffering of Sudanese women happens all the time. The case of Noura is different. She stood for her rights.

Magango said:

This girl is a victim. She was married off at the tender age of 16 against her will and she stood up against that and refused to be forced into marriage. The death that took place was an act of self-defence and it’s a travesty of justice that she is at risk of being murdered, being killed by the state, only for defending herself and that is something that needs to be corrected and this death penalty, this death sentence, must be revoked.

Hussein’s lawyers have just under two weeks to appeal the conviction.

12 May 2018

TeleSur

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/World-Defends-Sudanese-Rape-Victim-Condemned-to-Death-20180512-0013.html

Friday, 23 September 2016

13-Year-Old Boy Killed by Deeply Held Religious Beliefs of His Parents

01 hurt teddy bear child abuse

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A friend sent me this as a “cut n’ paste”. I did fact-checking and I’m sorry to say that this story is true in all particulars (see this and this and this).

BMD

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The parents of 13-year-old Alex Radita are on trial for murder in the death of their son. Members of the Romanian Pentecostal Church in Calgary AB, the parents had deeply held religious beliefs against seeking medical treatment for their son. Alex had Type 1 diabetes and other illnesses. His parents stopped his treatments. They declared that if he could find a way to survive without insulin and dietary regulation, he’d live… if not, they’d know that his death was God’s will. By the time of his death, Alex weighed less than 40 pounds. After his death, his family and members of the Pentecostal assembly prayed over him for some hours, expecting that God would raise him from the dead. Only after these prayers were over did they call 911 to report his death.

SOME DEEPLY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS CAN BE FATAL, USUALLY TO THE INNOCENT. Remember the hieromonk who killed a young woman in northern Romania a few years ago by trying to exorcise the schizophrenia out of her. Yes, there are limits on religious freedoms, and well there should be, since we see occasions when the deeply held religious beliefs of some groups turn out to result in homicide. It does matter if it is somewhat rare for this to happen in North America, even once is too often. Alex Radita was a human sacrifice to his parents’ deeply held religious beliefs. He should be alive now and looking forward to his 14th birthday. It would be useful for someone with the time and ability to research how often incidents of this have occurred during the last century. Take into account the forbidding of blood transfusion by certain religious groups (based clearly on Scripture) and the refusal to turn to medical doctors by some others. In addition, we should review the episodes of death due to exorcisms and publish them along with the others.

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Be careful with the term “sincerely-held religious beliefs”… you could end by justifying violence and bigotry. This isn’t an isolated case, sadly enough… be especially wary of homeschoolers and those who advocate physical punishment of children… they cloak evil under the guise of “Christianity”. All too many of them are “nice” and “respectable” people, so externalities often cloak a pietistic and smarmy apologia for violence and rightwing indoctrination. Have a care… we live in evil times; some of the worst sorts justify their ill will and crank notions with saccharine religious platitudes. Our children suffer…

BMD

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Long Island Church Sued for Allowing Sexual Assault of 4-Year-Old by Priest’s Perv Teenage Son

00 ALL of our Children are Precious... End Abuse NOW

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A lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan alleges that last year, a 4-year-old Long Island boy was sexually assaulted by the former parish priest’s teenage son on the grounds of a Greek Orthodox Church as the little boy’s 6-year-old sister watched in horror. The victims’ parents say the attack took place in May 2015 after Sunday services at Holy Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Brookville NY. To protect the identities of the children, the Daily News isn’t naming the parents. In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the parents say that while they chatted with the parish priest, the priest’s son, then a teenager, sodomised, fondled, and ejaculated on their half-naked son as his sister “helpless observed”. Immediately afterward, when the boy returned to his parents wearing no underwear and with his pants unbuttoned and the zipper down, his father asked him what happened. The suit says that the boy told him that the teenager had taken off his pants in a secluded area on church grounds.

According to the filing, the priest reacted by saying, “I know what’s going on and what happened”. The papers say the priest then “slammed his fists on the table … and uttered words to the effect: ‘I’m gonna kill him’”. The lawsuit says the priest and the child’s father found the teenager cowering in a closet. The priest said, according to the filing, “This won’t happen again. You’re finished. You’re going to be arrested this time. The priest then told the victim’s father that he’d called the police and stated, ‘This has happened before and he has to learn’”. The parents accuse the church of knowing about the teenager’s behaviour and failing to protect the parish children by keeping him away or warning parents of the danger. Demanding 10 million USD in damages for each child, they say their children are now fearful about their safety, losing sleep, depressed, and otherwise scarred. It is unclear from court papers if police pressed charges on the teenager, who is identified by initials. The News is withholding the priest’s name to protect the son’s identity because he, too, is a minor. There was no response from the spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America or Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, who also were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

22 July 2016

Barbara Ross

New York Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/long-island-priest-didn-protect-4-year-old-perv-son-article-1.2722264

Editor:

Betcha that the GOAA will try to lay a big hunk of cash on the plaintiffs in an attempt to make this “go away”. The Greeks have used the Green Poultice in the past… that and social ostracism may very well bury this.

BMD

Monday, 2 May 2016

2 May 2016. Our Church Has MUCH to Answer For…

00 the church has spoken 010516

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I may not be able to say all I think, but I’m not going to say anything I don’t think.

Eugene V Debs

I saw this on FB:

In years past, I’d acknowledge Orthodox Easter. I don’t anymore, because that faith caused a lot of harm to my family and to me. It was Pascha 1995 that my marriage ended, and it led to the end of my family. One week from today will make the 21st anniversary I saw my children for the last time, and one of those kids I’ll never ever see again in this lifetime. I know a few of you are Eastern Orthodox. That said, I’m so glad Melanie Jula Sakoda knows my story. Like it or not, I saw the underside of religious faith during the time I was in that church. I can’t blame people for being sceptical about religion.

Timothy John Forbes

I can’t fault the poster… not at all. There’s a dirty little reality in our Church. In the American diaspora, where we’re only a tiny minority of less than 1 percent of the population, the Church apparat and crank clergy get away with murder because we’re too small to excite media attention. The Catholics got widespread media coverage of their misdeeds as they make up 22 percent of the American population (about 70 million adherents) and “Evangelicals” love reports about lurid Catholic doings (false or true… it doesn’t matter). We’re only about 1 million adherents in all Orthodox bodies (I’m counting warm bodies that actually darken a church’s door… not ethnic populations)… that’s less than 0.3 percent of the population. The media doesn’t give a shit about such a miniscule number… except when it can use it to make a lurid headline (“One Million Signatures on Anti-Target Petition!”).

There have been many victims. There was Eric Iliff and Kristi Koumentakos… to name two that I know of personally. There are more… too many more. The apparat knows that it can attack with impunity, as no one in the media or state apparatus cares (they know that Orthodoxy in the USA is so small that it lurks “under the radar”). Look at the recent Storheim case… Storheim’s shyster mouthpiece mercilessly attacked the plaintiffs’ sanity. That was fine by the apparat and the hyperclericalists.

What compounds this is that many of the recent konvertsy hate the Church’s traditional stance of oikonomia towards people who fail to meet this-or-that rule. These arrogant brats demand akrivia (strictness) in all cases, and if the person leaves us, “Well, you see that they weren’t serious, were they? They refused to heed just correction!” Our Church is in the danger of becoming an “Evangelical” conventicle with only a slight veneer of Orthodox liturgy (and that bowdlerised and distorted by konvertsy fancies and peculiarities). I don’t call this group KKKs (Krazy Konvert Konventicles) for nought. They combine literalness towards the canons (combined with fancies of their own devising) with fanatical devotion to fringe rightwing fantasies. Such people abet and enable crank clergy with their fawning obeisance towards clerical misdoings (do note their fanatical devotion to the equivocal figures of Seraphim Rose and Jonas Paffhausen).

We’re in danger. Shall we survive this demonic attack? I don’t know… I truly don’t. However, there’s one thing that I do know. I bow in sincere apology to the Iliff, Koumentakos, Patico, and Forbes families… “If the Church hurt you, we all hurt you. I ask for your forgiveness”. I bow before all the victims and their people. It may not be much, but not all Orthodox Christians are responsible for the current reprehensible situation.

Remember Eric Iliff… he didn’t die in vain…

BMD

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