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.

photo1

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

 ——————–

 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. 

——————–

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 .

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

Get YOUR NAME in VOTERS LIST (Karnataka) for BANGALORE CITY (BBMP areas), MYSORE, MANGALORE, HUBLI-DHARWAD, BELLARY, BELGAUM, GULBARGA, DAVANAGERE

Get YOUR NAME in VOTERS LIST (Karnataka) for BANGALORE CITY (BBMP areas), MYSORE, MANGALORE, HUBLI-DHARWAD, BELLARY, BELGAUM, GULBARGA, DAVANAGERE

– Revision of voters’ list in 28 assembly constituencies from OCTOBER 30 to NOVEMBER 25

– SUBMIT ONLINE FOM for Inclusion/ Deletion/ Modification/ Transposition of your name at http://www.voterreg.kar.nic.in/

– PLEASE ENSURE that YOUR NAME IS NOT DELETED FROM THE LIST by SEDNING AN SMS. To know your Constituency, Polling Station Address and other details, Please SMS your ID Card Number to 9243355223 in the following format KAEPIC <“space”> ID Card No. Ex: KAEPIC XYZ1509201- For more information visit the website of Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka: ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in

– YOU CAN ALSO PHONE the representatives of PRAJA RAJAIYA VEDIKE FOR ASSISTANCE on 9483950202/ 9886155148/ 9482396178/ 9861436660Image

Dr. Kamala Hampana released the report “Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka” in Bangalore

Press Release

Bangalore, 17 Dec 2011: “Sexual minorities must follow Ambedkar’s slogan of Educate, Unite and Agitate,’’ said Dr Kamala Hampana, literary figure, while releasing the report “Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka” at United Theological College here on Saturday.

The author of 50 books, who also served as a chairperson of All India Kannada literary meet – 2003, clearly articulated that sexual minorities must assert themselves as human beings as access to even basic needs such as toilets, seats in the bus are denied to them. “We cannot wait for others to come and give us our rights. That will not happen; we need to march to Vidhan Soudha and demand our rights,’’ she added. “Reading this report is a big eye opener as I found out a whole new world of realities of people we know so little about even though they are in our midst,’’ she mused.

Sudha Nagavarapu from Janaarogya Andolana said that government encourages the fudging of statistics, whether it is malnutrition or HIV intervention so that it appears that success is achieved. It’s because the government is under pressure to show progress on the international commitments.

Members of the sexual minority community spoke of violations that routinely face in the name of HIV prevention work. Sanjeeva V, an activist living with HIV activist pointed out that People Living with HIV were excluded from programmes even though there was supposedly a policy that emphasises their role. The breach of confidentiality in numerous ways, including the manner in which the data is demanded, means that people’s privacy is invaded with impunity. Shobha, a Jogappa from Gulbarga highlighted that HIV prevention and treatment seemed to be the only concern of the government.

The target-driven approach where people are reduced to mere numbers is inherently anti-human rights. The lowest in the pyramid, face the worst abuses in the name of achieving targets.

All the routine and systematic violations are known to everyone working in these programmes are aware of it. However no one talks about the elephant in the room due to fear of reprisals of various sorts – including a stoppage of funding.

Since the government itself is guilty of these human rights violations the moot question is “where then do people go to demand their rights?” The agitation that Kamala Hampana spoke about is necessary to make the government and other agencies accountable to the communities whose welfare it is supposed to work for.

While issues related to the spread, prevalence as well as societal attitudes to HIV, have received considerable media attention; those related to the quality of services, and various compromises to people’s rights inherent in the HIV intervention is sidestepped or ignored.  The rights that are compromised include – the right to health, the right of effected populations to participate and shape policies as well as right to privacy. Various ethical considerations that especially important while dealing with vulnerable communities are often given the go-by; under different pretexts.

This report focuses on the experiences of male-born sexual minorities in Karnataka vis-à-vis HIV related services– and is an outcome of a collaborative process where community members have been co-producers of knowledge.

The report sketches the barriers encountered by them in receiving or seeking care in terms of access and availability of services. Attention is also drawn to the lapses and violations that occur in the name of providing heath services The report ends with a set of recommendations that have emerged from the sexual minority communities for policy makers, health-workers and activists

The entire report can be download from the page –  http://ksmf.in/?page_id=10

For more information contact Rajesh (9886155148) or Shubha (9243446105)

anekatrust@gmail.com

Report Launch – Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka

Aneka and Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum

Invite you for the launch of their report “Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka”.  

By

Dr. R Balasubramaniam (Founder of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) and ex special investigator and vigilance director for the Karnataka Lok Ayukta) and

Dr. Kamala Hampana (Scholar, Author of over 50 books and served as Chairperson -All India Kannada Literary Meet 2003)

The report is also endorsed by People’s Health Movement‘s Bangalore Urban Chapter (JAABU – Janarogya Andolana – Bangalore urban).

On Saturday, 17th December 2011, At  United Theological College, Millers Road, Near Cantt Railway Station’s Back Gate, Bangalore. Between 4:00 – 6:30 PM

While issues related to spread and prevention of HIV has received considerable attention – the quality of services,  compromises of people’s right – to health, to participate and shape policies as well as issues around privacy, and ethics do not are sidestepped or ignored.

This report focuses on the experiences of male-born sexual minorities in Karnataka vis-à-vis HIV related services– and is an outcome of a collaborative process where community members have been co-producers of knowledge.

Sexual minority communities have long faced challenges in accessing public services; including healthcare. Given that HIV places a significant burden on male-born sexual minorities; there are a range of HIV-related services and interventions that especially addresses them. The report sketches the barriers encountered by them in receiving or seeking care in terms of access and availability of services. Attention is also drawn to the lapses and violations that occur in the name of providing heath services The report ends with a set of recommendations that have emerged from the sexual minority communities for policy makers, health-workers and activists

For more information contact  Rajesh (9886155148)  or Shubha (9243446105)

Vacancy for a Research and Advocacy Associate in Sangama, Bangalore

Location Bangalore

Vacancy for a Research and Advocacy Associate

Full time experienced person

Sangama (www.sangama.org) is a human rights organisation working mainly with sexual minorities, sexworkers and PLHIV (People Living with HIV). Our work includes human rights advocacy, support for community-based organisations and community lobbying and campaigns

We are looking for a research and advocacy associate for our special projects.

Job Profile

The role involves working with the Project Director from concept design to coordination and execution of research projects and advocacy activities.

The person will primarily be responsible to facilitate, contribute and document the research work undertaken as well support the fellowship programme. Other responsibilities will include support the development of fund raising strategy including proposal writing, maintaining relationship with funders and help send in the reports

Who we are looking for

– At least 6 years relevant experience at a middle/senior position in human rights/ social justice/ community collectivization work

– Comfort to work with working class sexual minorities/ sexworkers/ people living with HIV

– Committed to social justice in the context of class, caste, gender, sexuality, religion etc.

– Team player and ability build alliances with various social movements and other larger social change processes

Skills

Ability to

– combine research, project management and advocacy. A strong theoretical grounding and good methodological, analytical and writing skills (in English) required.

– communicate in Kannada

– independently plan and coordinate training programmes

Salary will be based on experience and skills. We believes in affirmative action and particularly encourag people from the marginalized backgrounds to apply, including: sexual minorities, people living with HIV, dalits, adivasis, women, religious minorities and people with disabilities.

Interested candidates can sent a brief bio to sangama@sangama.org or shubha.chacko@gmail.com as soon as possible.

Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities face discrimination in HIV+ people’s network

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: HIV News <hivtalk@gmail.com>

PRESS NOTE

 

Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities face discrimination in HIV+ people’s network

 

 

Arunodaya Network Of Positive People (ANP+) is a registered district-level network of HIV Positive People in Bangalore Urban District, Karnataka. Its members include HIV positive persons from the communities of ex workers and sexual minorities, who face discrimination even in HIV positive people’s networks due to their occupation/ sexual orientation/ gender identity. The Annual General Body meeting and the elections to elect the new board representatives are scheduled to be held on 28th October (Thursday). But on 21st of Oct 2010, a few members complained that their nominations were rejected on unfair grounds i.e. for being a sex worker or a sexual minority person. The rejected members filed their nomination under the general category. The election rules of the society do not prohibit any member contestingin open category, which is also an universal principle of justice. The candidates who were rejected were from the reserved category (sex workers and sexual minorities) and filed their nomination for the general category post (Open category).

 

 

As per society’s rule, the elections should be conducted democratically and the bylaws of the society should be shared with each and every member of the society. The rejected members have complained that Arunodaya Network has failed to provide a copy of the bylaws to other board members and ordinary members.

 

 

Rejected member’s quotes:

Usha, member of Arunodaya Network for the last 3 years:

For the last 3 years, I am a member of Arunodaya network. When I became a member, one of the board members in the year 2006 gave me counselling. Based on the counselling, the network registered me as a member under the general category. I filed my nomination under the general category. But my nomination was rejected as they considered me under the reserved category which is completely wrong as per their documentation. The Arunodaya Network asked me to put my nomination for the reserved post. In this election, 1 post is reserved for a female sex worker and one from the community of sexual minorities. It is completely unfair to ask me to contest under the reserved category. Rejecting my nomination for the general category is a violation of my right as a member. This is completely undemocratic and against the rights of sex workers.

 

Vijaya Kumar, members of Arunodaya Network:-

Since last 6 months I am the member of the network. I am actively associated Arunodaya Network. I identify myself  as a Bisexual. The Arunodaya network registered me as a member under the reserved (Sexual Minority) category. Even though I am a reserved category member, I am interested to contest in the election for the general category post, which is my right as a member. I wanted to contest from general category to prove that there are sexual minorities who are capable of winning elections, without reservation. This was my sincere effort. I wanted to bring my other sexual minority friends to the mainstream. But rejecting my candidature, they have discriminated me and have violated my rights. If they cannot provide me a chance, as a District Level Network (DLN) what support can they provide to other sexual minorities? I want fair, democratic election process so that there is no discrimination.

Our demands:

1.       The Arunodaya Network should conduct fair and democratic elections according to its bylaws and the law of the land.

2.       There should be no discrimination for the reserved category members contesting in elections.

3.       Reserved category members should be provided equal opportunities.

For more information: Vijaya Kumar (95387 09146), Usha (80507 68692)

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