Court allowing the perpetrator of aggravated sexual assault to meet the child victim – Press Conference

Bengaluru, 23 December, 2014

Today a press conference was organised by human rights and civil society activists at The Press Club of Bangalore, at 1:30 PM. The press conference was addressed by:

1. Manohar Elavarthi, State Coordination Committee Member, Swaraj Abhiyan
2. Mathew Philip, Director, SICHREM
3. Gowri, Mahila Munnade
4. Akhila Vidyasandra, lawyer
They publicly appealed to Suja Jones, not to abide by the Order of the Hon’ble High Court, permitting the perpetrator of aggravated sexual assault with the victim. They also said that the Order of the Hon’ble High Court is against the law and against the child rights and constitution of India.

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Here is the contents of the Press Release shared at the press conference:

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 Predicament of Suja Jones

Suja Jones, mother of three young children and wife of an employee of French Consulate, Bengaluru Pascal Mazurier, had lodged a complaint in June 2012 with the police that her daughter who was aged 3 years 10 months was raped and sodomised by her husband. She had to face great amount of difficulty to even get her complaint registered. 

The police filed charge sheet against the accused for having committed an offence under section 376 of IPC (the law of POCSO Act came into existence three weeks after the complaint). The learned Sessions Judge, framed charge of Section 377 IPC as there were sufficient evidence against the accused Pascal Mazurier. 

While the proceedings were thus pending law relating sexual abuse has seen phenomenal changes bringing of changes in the definition of Rape, severity of punishment, presumption of absence of consent et al. 

The procedures of conducting cases also has changed. Today all the cases are conducted before a special court of child rights. So is the case of the daughter of Suja Jones. There have been number on instances where the accused who has committed heinous crime against his own daughter has been going to the media claiming his innocence and his love for his children. He has been harassing  Suja Jones over a period of time. 

First he sought permission to meet the children in the Family Court that was denied. Thereafter he sought for rights of his parents (grandparents of children) to visit the children. The same was permitted. The Hon’ble High Court permitted him to meet his two sons on some weekends by the order of the Hon’ble High Court. There are number of instances he has tried to influence the children. 

Now the accused emboldened by the orders has sought for visiting all the children for Christmas. Hon’ble High Court has permitted him to meet the children including the victim on Chrtitmas!!!

It is unfortunate that while the procedures of cases of such nature are to be conducted in accordance with the understanding of law, the existing POCSO Act, the order of the Hon’ble High Court is oblivious of the same. 

a) The law presumes guilt of the accused person under section 29. It is the accused who has to disprove the charges levelled against him. In the present case the trial is pending the victim child is to be examined yet. 

b) The law prescribes that the victim child shouldn’t be exposed to accused person nor shall come into contact with person during the investigation or during the proceedings in the court.  

c) Pascal Mazurier has been trying to meet the children on number of occasions just using the claim of his love of children with help of some organisations and some of the media.

Hon’ble High Court has not looked into the interest of the victim child and has passed such an order permitting the accused person to meet the victim child. The same is against the law that is to ensure that the victim child is protected.  Hon’ble High Court order is insensitive to the rights of the children and the harm that may happen to the psyche of the victim child and the other two boys who may get confused. All the efforts of accused somehow to gain sympathy of all and to influence the children is evident. 

The Hon’ble High Court order adds to the misery of the mother of the victim who is to expose the child to such a situation. 

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A child who has suffered sexual abuse from a close family member goes through enormous trauma, there is a sense of betrayal, a loss of trust, a deep hopelessness and traumatic sexualization.
 
In the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study one of the main routes to healing is when the child discloses the abuse and the caring adults believe the child and take steps to protect the child from further abuse.
 
One of the worst betrayals which causes profound trauma to the child is when the child is disbelieved, or hounded or harassed for having disclosed. A case in point is when the perpetrator is allowed to meet and interact with the child. The child realises that even after having spoken out, he or she is helpless against the perpetrator, who apparently is more powerful than the protectors. In this circumstance the child is terrified that the perpetrator will exact revenge for having spoken. This is a primary way perpetrators try to ensure the child retracts his or her statement and allows the perpetrator to go free.
 
– Dr Shaibya Saldanha, Founder, Enfold Proactive Health Trust
 
——————–
 
The speakers spoke about the initiation of a nation-wide campaign on this issue and appealed to public to join hands in this struggle for justice.
For more information, contact: 96322 23460/ 87628 04192 .

Discussion on ‘Sex Work, Decriminalization and Labour Rights’, on 5th of March 12 noon in Bengaluru

Dear friends

Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU) and Sangama invite you for a discussion among human rights activists

kswu sangama logos

On ‘Sex Work, Decriminalization and Labour Rights’

On 5th of March (Thursday), from 12 noon to 2 PM

At the NGO Hall (Ground Floor), Cubbon Park, near KR Circle, Bengaluru

Recently, the Kannada poet and writer Nadoja K. S. Nisar Ahmed urged the state government to legalise sex work; this statement provoked widespread debate in media and in civil society – many members of the Karnataka Sex Worker Union (KSWU), women’s rights activists, human rights activists, progressive thinkers and many others took part in the discussions. The discussions were very polarised, often missing the nuances about the existing laws criminalizing various aspects of sex work and their impact on sex workers.

To promote deeper dialogue among progressive sections of society we have organised this discussion on sex work. We invite you to participate in this dialogue with the spirit of understanding and mutual respect.

The discussion will start with short trigger presentations by Shakun Mohini, Shubha Chacko and Apoorva Kaiwar,  activists who have been working for the rights of sex workers. We also invite you to stay for a simple lunch after the discussion.

Here are some of the material on the issue for your reference:
1. Shades of Grey – Human Rights of women in Prostitution (by Madhu Bhushan and Shakun Mohini)

2. Trade Union Protections for Sex Workers

3. “Who Says We Do Not Work?” Looking at Sex Work (by Sujata Gothoskar and Apoorva Kaiwar)

4. ‘As Human Beings and As Workers’: Sex Worker Unionization in Karnataka, India (by Gowri Vijayakumar, Shubha Chacko, Subadra Panchanadeswaran

In Solidarity

Bharati (General Secretary, Karnataka Sex Workers Union) and David Bodapati (Coordinator, Sangama)

For more information contact: 96116 90683 (Bharathi)

“Who Says We Do Not Work?” Looking at Sex Work (by Sujata Gothoskar and Apoorva Kaiwar)

Sex workers’ organisations have argued against trafficking and see it not only as a human rights violation, but also as a threat to their own work and credibility. Often the debate is couched in terms of anti-trafficking lobbying/campaigns. The debate needs to be framed differently. Equating trafficking with sex work does a great disservice to both sex workers and to anti-trafficking campaigns, and only ends up infantilising women. The most powerful weapon to deny sex work the status of work is that of stigma. Stigmatising sex work has ensured keeping sex workers out of the legitimate political space and sections of the left and the women’s movement seem to have acquiesced in that.

Here is the the link for the full article: Who says we do not work – Looking at sexwork

Supreme Court of India’s Judgement (full) on transgenders

Supreme Court of India’s Judgement (full) on transgenders

Praja Rajakiya Vedike ಪ್ರಜಾ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ವೇದಿಕೆ

The operational part of the judgement:

We, therefore, declare:
(1) Hijras, Eunuchs, apart from binary gender, be treated as “third gender” for the purpose of safeguarding their rights under Part III of our Constitution and the laws made by the Parliament and the State Legislature.(2) Transgender persons’ right to decide their self-identified gender is also upheld and the Centre and State Governments are directed to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as third gender.

(3) We direct the Centre and the State Governments to take steps to treat them as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.

(4) Centre and State Governments are directed to operate separate HIV Sero-survellance Centres since Hijras/ Transgenders face several sexual health issues.

(5) Centre and State Governments should seriously address the problems being faced by Hijras/Transgenders such as fear, shame, gender dysphoria, social pressure, depression, suicidal tendencies, social…

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PRESS RELEASE – Bangalore Bikers Rally Against Racial Discrimination

Bikers Against Racial Discrimination

Press Release

Bengaluru, 16 Feb 2014: More than 200 riders of several bike-riding clubs and individual riders, vroomed on about 150 bikes cutting through the heart of the city unequivocally condemning the racial discrimination, as part of the ‘Bikers Against Racial Discrimination’ ride under the aegis of Brotherhood of Bulleeters Motorcycling Consortium (BOBMC) here on Sunday.

Several women riding the bikes, some really heavy machines, attracted the attention of onlookers. The rally had a long contingent of bikes from Royal Enfield, Honda, Duke and others. Thousands of pamphlets were distributed throughout the route of the rally to educate people about the event and the cause.

There were many placards with messages including ‘Racism is Wrong’, ‘Racism has no place in a democratic country’, ‘Friends Are Made by Heart, Not by Skin Colour’, ‘We, the riding family, won’t stand racial discrimination’, ‘Stop All Violence Against Northeast’ and ‘We All Have Eyes, But to See Right, We Should Use Our Brains’. A very diverse set of people in terms of race, religion, region, age, gender and language participated in the rally. Large number of people from North-Eastern states and Caucasians took part in event.

The bike rally, led by senior bikers Mr. Prem Menon and Mr. Ajit Lakshmiratan, was flagged off from the Town Hall at 8:40 am and passed through Hudson Circle, Mission Road, Lalbagh Road, RV Road, Nanda Theatre Road, JP Nagar, BTM Layout, Silk Board, Outer Ring Road and culminated at the BDA Complex in HSR Layout at 10 am.

Mr. Ajit Lakshmiratan, a Biker from 50+ Bulleteers said: “We are very much concerned about the racial discrimination prevalent. It is a blot on our society and we condemn it. We as a responsible biking community and express our solidarity with North East brothers and sisters.”

Professor Rini Ralte from Mizoram, who made Garden City her home, addressed the bikers and said: “Racial Discrimination is a violence faced by us every day in Bangalore and in other cities. The recent exodus of thousands of North East people from Bangalore indicates the kind of constant fear we live under. Ours is a struggle against discrimination, ours is a struggle for justice and peace.”

Human Rights activist Manohar Elavarthi from Praja Rajakiya Vedike appreciated the efforts of the biking community in fighting against racism. He demanded that Police should be sensitized on the issues of North East people and to recruit people from the region into Karnataka police force to make it racially diverse. He appealed to the bikers to continue this long struggle to change people’s attitudes and to bring lasting changes against racism.

Mr. Bishwajit Singh Rajkumar, a biker from Manipur said: “As a biker, I have never faced any racial discrimination inside the biking community. I am proud to be part of this community and want the larger society to emulate our biking community and learn to accept the people who are different from you. If you want to understand people, you should visit their places and meet them; spend time with them. Then only one will start to understand that they are as beautiful as you.”

Mr. Ringo Pebam, a biker from Manipur, who works in this city, said: “North East people face insults, harassment, sexual harassment, physical violence and humiliation on a daily basis. People here know very little about North East people, our history, culture, food habits, languages; people don’t know that India is home to people of different races. We demand changes in school and college curricula to include information about North East so that all Indians are aware about us. The government should conduct a large scale public education about North East people through mass media and it is their responsibility.”

For details call: Biju Ningthemcha (98454 09264) or Ringo Pebam (99004 57216) or Abdul Khan (99012 55699) or Manohar Elavarthi (96322 23460)

PS: Photos and the pamphlet of the event are attached

???? ??????????????????????????????? 04 05 06 at BDA Complex, HSR Layout

BARD pamphlet BARD pamphlet

Press Release – Candle light vigil against child sexual abuse on Christmas day

Press Release – Candle light vigil against child sexual abuse on Christmas day

Praja Rajakiya Vedike ಪ್ರಜಾ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ವೇದಿಕೆ

Press Release
 
Candle light vigil against child sexual abuse on Christmas day
 
 
25th December, 2013
Bangalore
 
Today more than 80 people representing different people’s / women’s movements participated in the candle light vigil from 6PM to 7:30PM at The Town Hall, Bangalore. People listened to the reading of the Letter of a child yearning for justice in English and in Kananda.
 
The gathering was addressed by Suja Jones, Kalpana (from Vimochana), Evangeline Anderson (from Praja Rajakiya Vedike), Ranjani (from AIPWA) and many others. Suja Jones spoke about the trauma she has to go through because of the Pascal Mazurier (accused of child sexual abuse) and his mother appearing at her door-step today morning; with active support of the police.
 
Please find the following:
– Letter of a child yearning for justice (English and Kananda)
– This Christmas Morning (by Suja Jones)
– Photos of…

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JTSA extends support to the LGBT community, calls for committed judicial activism: JTSA

JTSA (Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association) extends support to the LGBT community, calls for committed judicial activism

~Linked to this passing the buck approach is that the judgement fails to recognize that minorities, sexual or otherwise, require dignified protection by law. This aspect is the most disturbing and damaging one as it questions the very fundamental, human right of small groups of people to exist and live with dignity in society.

Committed to speak and act for the protection of human and civil rights, JTSA registers a strong note of dissent on this anti-people – anti-minority – judgement. It stands in solidarity with the LGBT community and extends full support to the campaign for the right to sexual choice, justice, honour and freedom.

(Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association consists of Manisha Sethi, Ahmed Sohaib, Nabanipa Bhattacharjee, Adil Mehdi, Sanghamitra Misra, Tanweer Fazal, Ambarein Alqadr, Ghazi Shahnawaz, Manoj Jena and others.) ~

Kafila

Guest Post by JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION

On 11 December, 2013 a two judge bench of the Supreme Court of India (SC) ruled that section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which considers homosexuality a criminal offence, does not ‘suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality’ and hence, legally valid.  By this highly regrettable ruling the apex court astounded and disappointed not only the LGBT community but the wider public at large.

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