Sweden not so feminist…


A Swedish court acquitted a 27-year-old man of raping a 13-year-old girl because she looked older. Add this to similar cases in the U.S. and U.K., and we’ve got a sickening problem.
A man who raped a 13-year-old girl has been acquitted on the grounds that her body was “well-developed” for her age. The Swedish teenager had lodged an appeal against the ruling on her perpetrator, 27, but it was thrown out of court this week as officials decided her figure exempted him from blame as he “could not have known” how old she was.

The ruling has called Sweden’s sexual assault laws into question: legislation that states a defendant must “know” or have “reasonable grounds to believe” that the child is under 15, the country’s age of consent. The statute also classifies having sex with someone below that age as “child rape.”

The girl’s lawyer, Goran Landerdahl, told the country’s national news agency that they were planning to bring the case to Sweden’s Supreme Court in the hopes of setting a benchmark for how issues of this nature are treated in the future.

“Judges read newspapers too,” Landerdahl told TT News, “so perhaps someone will realize that there are irregularities in this case.” He also criticized adults who have sex with those who look “borderline 15-years-old” without attempting to verify their age, saying that they must be held responsible for their decisions.

But chances of the Supreme Court revising the ruling on the case are slim. As legal expert Madeleine Leijonhufvud explains, verdicts for similar abuse issues are often passed without a conviction for the alleged offenders. “The Supreme Court has been very restrictive when it comes to applying legal sexual abuse clauses to cases involving young teenagers,” she told TT.

This latest case is horrifying, but it’s not the first in recent history to expose how authorities around the world mistreat young rape victims. Earlier this year, a London judge accused a 16-year-old girl of “grooming” her 44-year-old teacher for sex, likening her actions to a stalker and telling the older man: “If anything, it was she who groomed you. You gave way to temptation at a time when you were emotionally vulnerable because of problems with your wife’s pregnancy.”

Judge Joanna Greenberg, QC, added: “There is no evidence you encouraged her in any way”—a comment that seemed all the more misguided given that the accused, Stuart Kerner, had taken the girl’s virginity in a school storage cupboard. Elsewhere in the U.K., victims of a gang who coerced hundreds of children into underage sex were labelled as “very difficult girls making bad choices” by their care workers—an attitude that led to abuse ensuing for many more years.

Add to this the Montana judge who dismissed a 14-year-old girl as “older than her chronological age” after she was raped by her 47-year-old teacher, and therein lies a very bleak picture of our attitudes toward young victims of sexual assault.

The regular refrain espoused by prosecutors and judges—that these girls seem beyond their years, and therefore cannot benefit from the protective laws afforded to others of their age group—is a paltry excuse. Either we design legislation to protect people or we don’t, but denying someone the legal justice they deserve because their chest is a little bigger than average is frankly embarrassing. If the law won’t safeguard these girls, who will?

There comes a time when we must ask ourselves why blame keeps being placed on young women. Perhaps one of them did, as the judge alleged, become overly infatuated with an older man and spend too much time trying to court his affections. But shouldn’t a man in his 40s, who is in an even greater position of power by way of being that girl’s teacher, be the one to demonstrate what is right and wrong? Dealing with personal distress is one thing, but sleeping with your pre-legal student because your wife has just miscarried simply should not be an alibi we find acceptable.

This constant misdirection of fault is a stain on punitive justice worldwide. How can we expect rape victims to come forward when they so frequently receive blame for such acts of sexual assault? And how can we expect men who target vulnerable girls to stop doing so when they know they will never be punished for their behavior? Laws designed to protect young women from sexual violence exist. It’s about time we started using them.

Boko’s Harem


May 7, 2014


These signs were obviously not produced by the people holding them.

Andre and Sven take a look at the media’s attempts to hide the fact that Blacks hunt and enslave other Blacks, with reference to the current Boko Haram situation where slaves have been renamed ‘wives.’

Comment: It is obvious from this and earlier reblogs of mine that WN and Counter-Jihad aren’t fully compatible. Again.

How Nigerian police also detained women and children as weapon of war


Before Boko Haram started routinely kidnapping girls in northern Nigeria, more than 100 relatives of militants were held by authorities. Their leader vowed to retaliate

Elizabeth Pearson and Jacob Zenn

theguardian.com, Tuesday 6 May 2014 14.05 BST

Demonstrators opposite the Nigerian high commission in London calling for the government to step up efforts to rescue the schoolgirls.
Demonstrators opposite the Nigerian high commission in London call for the government to step up efforts to rescue the missing schoolgirls. Photograph: Ruth Whitworth/Demotix/Corbis

The gunmen seized Hajja while she was picking corn in a field near her home in a small village in north-eastern Nigeria in July 2013. The 19-year-old had no choice but to follow her captors, insurgents with the Islamist group Boko Haram. It was the beginning of a three-month ordeal in which she was forced to convert to Islam, to cook, clean, and march.

In the worst moments she was beaten and threatened with execution. She was also made to lure soldiers into positions where they could be targeted, and watch as her Boko Haram abductors attacked them.

We know what happened to Hajja only because she managed to escape. But we also know that her experience is not unique. The kidnapping of more than 270 girls from Chibok three weeks ago has captured the world’s attention, but Boko Haram, whose name means “western education is sinful”, has been systematically taking women from schools or villages across north-eastern Nigeria since May last year.

The town of Konduga in Borno State was all but razed to the ground in an attack in February – after which insurgents left with 20 girls. Two weeks later, at the Federal government college in Buni Yade in Yobe state, Boko Haram fighters murdered dozens of male students in their beds and captured at least 16 girls. More than a dozen young women are missing from Gwoza, where Hajja was taken, and families from across the region say they have lost their daughters.

Boko Haram’s move towards using the kidnapping of women as a tactic appears to have come hand-in-hand with a similar strategy deployed by the Nigerian authorities. From December 2011, the Nigerian police began to detain the wives and children of militants leaders – possibly to put pressure on the group, possibly to bring about negotiations.

Whatever the reasons, from 2011 to 2012 more than 100 Boko Haram family members were arrested, with no evidence to suggest they had any part in Boko Haram’s crimes. Among them were relatives of Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.

A grab made on May 5, 2014 from a video by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a video released by the group. Photograph: Ho/AFP/Getty Images

These detentions became a source of grievance for Shekau, and were repeatedly mentioned in a series of video messages in 2012. One Shekau film threatens: “Since you are now holding our women, just wait and see what will happen to your own women… to your own wives according to sharia law.”

In 2013 the kidnappings began. In May of that year a film released by Boko Haram shows the leader alongside a split-screen image of a group of captured women and children, silently huddled together. Shekau says, “We kidnapped some women and children… including teenage girls”. This was payback, he added. In another video message he promised to make female hostages his servants if certain conditions, including the release from prison of Boko Haram members and their wives, were not met. A tit-for-tat cycle of arrests and abductions was established, with Shekau explicitly threatening the kidnap of more girls.

Video messaging is a key tool in Boko Haram’s propaganda war and the medium chosen by Shekau to claim responsibility for the abduction of the Chibok girls, announcing that “God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions”. This message echoes a film released by Boko Haram in March, in which he talked of kidnapped girls as the “spoils of war”. At the same time, local sources report that Boko Haram told the Chibok schoolgirls they were “infidels” for attending schools where western education, including English, is taught. They were warned they would have to pay jizyah, a form of tax from non-Muslims, or be raped as compensation. Just weeks after these threats, the girls were taken.

The scale of this kidnapping, with some reports that as many as 300 girls were taken, makes it unlike anything seen so far in northern Nigeria, or anywhere else. It has woken up the world to what is happening in the region, with pledges of help from the US and UK. But still the girls are missing and families have little faith in the Nigerian military, or the government, to find them.

Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan on Monday 5 May.
Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan on Monday 5 May. Photograph: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

On Sunday, in his first comments on the kidnapping, president Goodluck Jonathan said the government was doing all it could, but admitted the military did not know where the girls are. A leader of the widespread protest movement to bring back the girls has reportedly been arrested. All this has done little to reassure the community of Chibok, whose elders have publicly expressed a lack of confidence in the efforts taken so far. Others across Nigeria are critical too.

Near Chibok, a rescue becomes increasingly difficult as the girls are thought to have been separated and taken to several different locations. Parents have mounted their own search efforts in the Sambisa forest, without success. Boko Haram militants know the area better than both the military and locals.

Time is not on the Chibok families’ side. Nor is it on the side of the government. With more than 1,500 deaths so far this year, 2014 is the most violent yet in Boko Haram’s insurgency. The country is preparing for presidential elections in 2015, and there are no signs that the insurgents will be “crushed” as President Jonathan has promised, by then. Worse, the government strategy of pressuring Boko Haram through arresting family members has backfired.

Elizabeth Pearson is a freelance radio journalist who has recently completed an MA in International Conflict Studies at King’s College London. Jacob Zenn is an analyst of African and Eurasian Affairs for the Jamestown Foundation in Washington DC

A similar solution to child molestation

A similar solution solves child molestation. Both the molested child and the molester are put to death with a sharp sword. Accusation counts as proof. After all, if the child was really molested, its life is over anyway. Some may say the molester gets off to easy, but the reply will be that many, especially powerful people and intellectuals, think even the death penalty is too harsh. So lets split the difference.