I think this is my new favorite thing.
PEN American Center will be in Geneva next week to press our concerns about free expression in Mexico, China, and Nigeria. All three countries come under scrutiny this month as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process, which examines the human rights record of each UN member country every four years. Now in its sixth year, the UPR has become an vital mechanism for documenting and discouraging human rights violations around the world, and an important forum for PEN to focus international attention on countries where writers and journalists are especially at risk. Very high on that list is Mexico, where forty-six journalists have been killed since 2006. PEN American Center has been protesting the violence against journalists in Mexico for more than a decade, and in 2012 we joined an international delegation to call for the federalization of crimes against journalists—crimes which previously went unsolved because they fell under state jurisdiction. The Senate voted to federalize the crimes, but the Mexican government has been slow to assert its new authority to investigate and prosecute attacks, as Freedom to Write director Larry Siems noted after a follow-up visit to Mexico earlier this year.
Kenya’s chief justice said Saturday he had ordered “immediate action” over a case where men accused of brutally gang raping a schoolgirl were ordered to cut grass as punishment.
The ferocious attack on the teenage girl and the lack of action against those who carried it out sparked outrage in the country, while over 1.3 million people worldwide have signed a petition demanding justice.
The 16-year-old, known by the pseudonym Liz, was reportedly attacked, beaten and then raped by six men as she returned from her grandfather’s funeral in western Kenya in June, before the gang dumped her, bleeding and unconscious, in a deep sewage ditch.
"I have sent the matter to the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) for immediate action," Kenya Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said Saturday.
The NCAJ is Kenya’s top-level judicial oversight body bringing together the judiciary, police, attorney-general and director of public prosecutions.
On Thursday, hundreds of protestors marched through Nairobi wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Justice for Liz” and draping dozens of women’s knickers along the fence of the police station.
Nebila Abdulmelik, of the women’s rights campaign group Femnet launched the petition demanding justice.
"Our immediate task is for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators, and then disciplinary action at the police who failed to take action, because we feel that they embolden others to rape," Abdulmelik said during the demonstration.
"We are using Liz’s story to bring to light all the other cases of violence that are not necessarily reported to the media, to the police."
Liz is now wheelchair-bound with a broken back, caused either by the beating or by being hurled down into the pit, and also suffered serious internal injuries from the rape.
Her mother told the Daily Nation newspaper, which first reported the story, that three men identified by Liz were only ordered to cut grass around the police station.
These awesome photos, in which rolling waves appear to be both perfectly frozen in time and miraculously made solid, are the work of French photographer Pierre Carreau.
Carreau “shoots waves with a variety of high speed cameras using various macro and wide angle lenses, capturing water shapes that appear more sculptural than liquid.”