Rape as tactic of war pt.3: Hundreds of women raped by qaddafi forces

31.05.2011 § Leave a comment

At first, the responses to the questionnaire about the trauma of the war in Libya were predictable, if tragic: 10,000 people suffering post-traumatic stress, 4,000 children with psychological problems. Then came the unexpected: 259 women said they had been raped by militiamen loyal to Muammar Qaddafi.

Dr. Seham Sergewa had been working with children traumatized by the fighting in Libya but soon found herself being approached by troubled mothers who felt they could trust her with their dark secret.

The first victim came forward two months ago, followed by two more. All were mothers of children the London-trained child psychologist was treating, and all described how they were raped by militiamen fighting to keep Qaddafi in power.

Dr. Sergewa decided to add a question about rape to the survey she was distributing to Libyans living in refugee camps after being driven from their homes. The main purpose was to try to determine how children were faring in the war; she suspected many were suffering from PTSD.

To her surprise, 259 women came forward with accounts of rape. They all said the same thing.

…Rape has been a common weapon of war throughout the ages,

…Dr. Sergewa said she has interviewed 140 of the rape survivors in various states of mental anguish, and has been unable to persuade a single victim to prosecute. None would speak to the AP about her ordeal, even with a promise to hide her identity.

“Some I diagnosed with acute psychosis; they are hallucinating,” Dr. Sergewa said. “Some are very depressed; some want to commit suicide. Some want their parents to kill them because they don’t want their families to bear the shame.”

“They are using rape not just to hurt women but to terrorize entire families and communities,” Dr. Sergewa said. “The women I spoke to say they believed they were raped because their husbands and brothers were fighting Qaddafi.”

“I think it is also to put shame on the tribes or the villages, to scare people into fleeing, and to say: ‘We have raped your women,'” she said.

Dr. Sergewa says women will continue to be targets of the militiamen, and this makes it all the more urgent to finish her study and get it published.

Full article Here.

Rape as tactic of war 1

Rape as tactic of war 2

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the army is cracking apart in Yemen, political defects galore

21.03.2011 § 1 Comment

60 per cent of the Yemeni army is allied with the protesters, politicians are joining. How much does this represent  a grab for power by a different political alliance? JURY’S OUT.

The Nothing says: Check out this LINK. excerpts below.

Several top Yemeni army commanders have declared their support for anti-government protesters seeking the resignation of the country’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Major General Ali Mohsen Saleh, the head of the north western military zone and the head of the first armoured division, said on Monday that he had deployed army units to protect the protesters…

several other commanders, among them Brigadier Hameed Al Koshebi, head of brigade 310 in Omran area, Brigadier Mohammed Ali Mohsen, head of the eastern division, Brigadier Nasser Eljahori, head of brigade 121, and General Ali Abdullaha Aliewa, adviser of the Yemeni supreme leader of the army, rallied behind Major General Saleh and defected…

Several ministers resigned from the government after Friday’s violence. Abdullah Alsaidi, Yemen’s ambassador to the United Nations, also quit in protest over the killings.

Huda al-Baan, Yemen’s human rights minister, said she had resigned from the government and the ruling party in protest over the sniper attack on demonstrators…

Earlier on Monday, the Yemeni ambassadors to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and China resigned from their posts. Some of the also resigned from Saleh’s ruling party.

egypt’s textile workers; in 2007 the women were the most militant, will the men try to reign them in again?

21.02.2011 § 1 Comment

Men’s oppression (exploitation?) of women keeps showing itself as the internal limit to worker’s struggle.

So in spite of the warnings of Egypt’s military regime against any strikes, the ENORMOUS Misr Spinning and Weaving Company in Mahalla al-Kubra called a strike of 24 thousand workers 3 days ago (on Feb 16). This is the SAME textile company that went on strike back in 2007, and then it was widely reported that the women workers pushed past the reticence and dilly-dallying of the male workers, were much more militant, and generally tore shit up.

During the 2007 strike, the MEN ACTUALLY PUSHED THE MILITANT, STRIKING WOMEN TO GO HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES INSTEAD OF CONTINUING THE FIGHT.  The women were pushed to go get back to their reproductive labor. This is a very similar situation as was heard from the barricades in the Oaxaca uprising in 2006, where women were militantly defending the barricades, but were pulled home by their husbands and families who demanded they get back to their domestic work (thanks comrade b for that report).

From the libcom article on the 2007 textile strike (which you can find here: libcom on textile strike):

A fighting spirit was in the air. Over the following two days, groups of workers refused to accept their salaries in protest. Then, on December 7, thousands of workers from the morning shift started assembling in Mahalla’s Tal‘at Harb Square, facing the entrance to the mill. The pace of factory work was already slowing, but production ground to a halt when around 3,000 female garment workers left their stations, and marched over to the spinning and weaving sections, where their male colleagues had not yet stopped their machines. The female workers stormed in chanting: “Where are the men? Here are the women!” Ashamed, the men joined the strike.

Around 10,000 workers gathered in the square, shouting “Two months! Two months!” to assert their claim to the bonuses they had been promised. Black-clad riot police were quickly deployed around the factory and throughout the town, but they did not act to quell the protest. “They were shocked by our numbers,” ‘Attar said. “They were hoping we’d fizzle out by the night or the following day.” With the encouragement of state security, management offered a bonus of 21 days’ pay. But, as ‘Attar laughingly recalled, “The women [workers] almost tore apart every representative from the management who came to negotiate.”

As night fell, said Sayyid Habib, the men found it “very difficult to convince the women to go home. They wanted to stay and sleep over. It took us hours to convince them to go home to their families, and return the following day.” Grinning broadly, ‘Attar added, “The women were more militant than the men. They were subject to security intimidation and threats, but they held out.”

the rape-able class

17.02.2011 § Leave a comment

trigger warning, re: rape trial stuff. …

but the class action suit part rules.
Author of “The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in
Iraq,”
Benedict said today: “I’ve interviewed over 40 women who served
in Iraq, many of whom told me stories of sexual harassment and rape at
the hands of their so-called brothers-in-arms. These women’s stories
inspired lawyer Susan Burke to put together the class action against
the Pentagon being reported today… Most [women i talked to] were assaulted by their superior
officers, men who had control over when they slept, ate, walked, sat,
where they worked and what jobs they did. Often, when they tried to
report their assaults, the command ignored them or threatened them
with punishments to keep them quiet. Even the DoD admits that, for
these reasons, 80 to 90 percent of assaults are never reported at all.
This lady Benedict also wrote “The Scandal of Military Rape”
Some stories:* Marti Ribeiro of the Air Force was raped by an American soldier
while she was standing guard at night in Afghanistan. When she tried
to report it, she was threatened with court martial.

* Mickiela Montoya, army specialist, had to carry a knife with her at
all times in Iraq because she was threatened with rape so often by the
male soldiers.

* Abbie Picket, army specialist, was assaulted by an officer whom she
was supposed to obey and trust.

* Jennifer Spranger, army specialist, was harassed so continuously by
fellow soldiers, both during training and at war, that she came home
shaking and traumatized.

* Suzanne Swift was court martialed and sent to military prison for a
month after she refused to redeploy with a sergeant who had repeatedly
raped her.”

Kori Cioca, in her lawyer’s office on Sunday, described being raped while serving in the Coast Guard. She is one of 17 plaintiffs, 15 women and 2 men, filing a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense.
It also says the two defense secretaries failed “to take reasonable steps to prevent plaintiffs from being repeatedly raped, sexually assaulted and sexually harassed by federal military personnel.”
Does “wider societal problem” mean “cant do nothin bout it sweetheart, but you know we’ll give it a shot”:
The plaintiffs’ stories in the complaint include accounts of a soldier stripping naked and dancing on a table during a break in a class on preventing sexual assault, physical and verbal harassment, and the rape of a woman by two men who videotaped the assault and circulated it to the woman’s colleagues. Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement that “sexual assault is a wider societal problem” and that Mr. Gates was working to ensure that the military was “doing all it can to prevent and respond to it.”

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