August 3, 2008

Off to Germany!

Tomorrow morning I'll be leaving to Germany, where I will be taking part in a language course until August 30th. I'll be staying in Bremen (circled red in the map below), a city in Northwest Germany. I hope I will be able to blog from there, but I'm not sure as to the Internet access there as of yet. Let's hope there will be so I don't go into withdrawal symptoms and die.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Honor Crime and No Punishment

The Criminal Court attorney general on Saturday said he plans to appeal a ruling acquitting a family of an honor crime that occurred in July 2006. I know all honor crimes sound the same more or less, so I'll sum this one up for you:
  • 16-year-old is abused by her family, so she leaves the family tent (I'm serious), and heads to the Family Protection Department and files a complaint against them.

  • Her family become enraged when they find out, and decide to kill her. So they tie her up, pour kerosene on her and ignite her along with the family tent.

  • Victim tries to scream and flee but the father, mother, and two siblings (aged 19 and 16), prevent her. After she was dead, one of her brothers starts calling for help, claiming it was an accident.

  • The postmortem report indicated that the woman received burns on 96 per cent of her body and was charred beyond recognition.

  • Victim's female sibling refuses to testify against her family.

  • The court decides that the family never plotted to murder the victim and that the fire was "accidental", and acquitts the four defendants. “The defendants tried to wake the victim but were unable to in time. They managed to escape the fire but the victim remained trapped in the tent,” the court said in its 10-page ruling.

And if you're not sick to your stomach yet, this should do it:

Criminal Court Prosecutor Saturday charged a father and son with the premeditated murder of their 23-year-old female relative in the Kingdom’s latest so-called honor crime on Thursday, an official source said.

“The victim went missing for around four months. When she was found by police, they discovered that she was living with a man,” the source said.

The administrative governor ordered the victim to be detained on charges of adultery for an indefinite period for her own safety.

But after several visits, the father convinced him that he would not harm his daughter and won her release after signing a JD5,000 guarantee that he would not hurt her.

The father took his daughter home and as she was about to enter the house, her 21-year-old brother approached her and fired six shots at her, then immediately surrendered to police claiming that he had killed his sister in order to cleanse his family’s honor.

The victim became the ninth woman reportedly murdered in the Kingdom in a so-called honor crime since the beginning of the year. She is the second to be killed in the month of July.

August 1, 2008

Your Moment of Zen

That's John McCain hugging George Bush. Now isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever seen?