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HUMOUR-RESEARCH  1999

HUMOUR-RESEARCH 1999

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Subject:

petition for women rights in Afghanistan

From:

Gabriele Koehler <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 30 Aug 1999 11:35:23 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (237 lines)


Please spare a minute to read this mail. Thank you.
C'est un peu long mais c'est important
Merci
__________

The government of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women.
The situation is getting so bad that one person in an editorial of the Times
compared the treatment of women there to the treatment of Jews in pre-Holocaust
Poland.

Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women have had to wear burqua and have
been beaten and stoned in public for not having the proper attire, even if this 
means simply not having the mesh covering in front of their eyes. One woman was 
beaten to
DEATH by
an
angry mob of
fundamentalists
for accidentally exposing her arm while she was driving.
Another was stoned to death for trying to leave the country with a man
that
was
not a relative.

Women are not allowed to work or even go out in public without a male
relative;
professional women such as professors, translators, doctors, lawyers,
artists
and writers have
been forced
from their jobs and stuffed into their homes, so that depression is
becoming
so
widespread that
it has reached emergency levels. There is no way in such an extreme
Islamic
society to know the
suicide rate with certainty,
but relief workers are estimating that the suicide rate among women,
who
cannot
find proper
medication
and treatment for severe depression and would rather take their lives
than
live
in such
conditions,
has increased significantly.

Homes where a woman is present must have their windows painted so
that she
can
never be seen by
outsiders. They must wear silent shoes so that they are never heard.
Women
live
in fear of their
lives for the slightest misbehavior. Because they cannot work, those
without
male relatives or
husbands
are either starving to death or begging on the street, even if they hold
Ph.D.'s.

There are almost no medical facilities available for women, and relief
workers,
in protest,
have mostly left the country, taking medicine and psychologists and other
things
necessary to
treat the sky-rocketing  level of depression among women. At one of the
rare
hospitals for
women,
a reporter found still, nearly lifeless bodies lying motionless on top of
beds,
wrapped in their
burqua,
unwilling to speak, eat, or do anything, but slowly wasting away. Others
have
gone mad and were
seen
crouched in corners, perpetually rocking or crying, most of them in fear.
One
doctor is
considering when what little medication that is left finally runs out, leaving 
these
women
in front of the
president's residence as a form of peaceful protest.

It is at the point where the term 'human rights violations' has become an
understatement!!!
Husbands have the power of life and death over their women relatives,
especially
their wives,
but an angry mob has just as much right to stone or beat a woman, often
to
death, for exposing
an
inch of flesh or offending them in the slightest way.

David Cornwell has said that those in the West should not judge the
Afghan
people for such
treatment because it is a 'cultural thing', but this is not even true:
Women enjoyed relative freedom, to work, dress generally as they
wanted, and
drive and appear in
public alone until >only 1996 - the rapidity of this transition is the main
reason for the
depression and suicide; women who were once educators or doctors or
simply
used
to basic human
freedoms are now severely restricted and treated as sub-human in the
same of
right-wing
fundamentalist Islam.
It is not their tradition or 'culture', but is alien to them, and it is
extreme
even for those
cultures
where fundamentalism is the rule. Besides, if we could excuse
everything on
cultural grounds,
then we should not be appalled that the Carthaginians sacrificed their
infant
children, that
little girls are circumcised in parts of Africa, that blacks in the US deep
south in the 1930's
were lynched, prohibited from voting, and forced to submit to unjust Jim Crow
laws.
Everyone has a right to a tolerable human existence, even if they are women
in a
Muslim country
in a part of the world that Westerners may not understand.

If Iife can threaten military force in Kosovo in the name of human rights
for
the sake of ethnic
Albanians, then NATO and the West can certainly express peaceful
outrage at
the
oppression,
murder
and injustice committed against women by the Taliban.

STATEMENT:
In signing this, we agree that the current treatment of women in
Afghanistan is completely UNACCEPTABLE and deserves support and
action
by the people of the United Nations and that the current situation in
Afghanistan will not be tolerated. Women's Rights is not a small issue
anywhere and it is UNACCEPTABLE for women in 1999 to be treated as
sub-human and so much as property. Equality and human decency is a
RIGHT not
a
freedom, whether one lives in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

1) Marianne Giroud, Zurich, Switzerland
2) Vera Koehli, Zurich, Switzerland
3) Hartmut Stiess, Zurich, Switzerland
4) Oliver Schmidt, Berne, Switzerland
5) Manuela Oetterli, Lucerne, Switzerland
6) Christina Furrer, Zurich, Switzerland
7) Claudio Furrer, Rothrist, Switzerland
8) Priska Meier, Rothrist, Switzerland
9) Otto Pulver, Basel, Switzerland
10) Tom Meier, Basel, Switzerland
11) Patrik Kehrli, Riehen, Switzerland
12) Brigitte Alge, Lausanne, Switzerland
13) Christoph Alge, Vienna, Austria
14) Isabelle Hakenberg, Vienna, Austria
15) Veronika Neussl, Vienna, Austria
16) Peter Neussl, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
17) Marianne Linde Doblmayr, Strasbourg, France
18) Elfriede Artinger, Strasbourg, France
19) Imma Oppelik, Strasbourg, France
20) Thorsten Eisingerich, Strasbourg, France
21) Alexandra Schreiber, Vienna, Austria
22) Patricia Benda, Brussels, Belgium
23) Helene Politano, Nice, France
24) Monique Pierron, Grasse, France
25) Corinne Michel, Antibes, France
26) Emmanuel Pierron, Grasse, France
27) Annie Dormoy, Opio, France
28) Monique Andreani, Antibes, France
29) Tessa Naili, Londres, England
30) Marie-Jos=E9 Tyan, London, United Kingdom
31) Ronald Tyan, London, United Kingdom
32) Marie-Laure Amiot, Paris, France
33) Olivier Chanut, Paris, France
34) Pierre MATHIEU, Paris, France
35) Francois COUSTEIX, Paris, France
36) Val=E9rie LE BON, Paris, France
37) Evelyne COCAULT, Paris, France
38) Eva WOCHNER, Strasbourg, France
39) Christoph Drese, Mainz, Germany
40) Ludger Mias, Mainz, Germany
41) Gabriele Koehler, Duesseldorf, Germany
42) Georg Flock, Dčsseldorf, Germany

Please sign to support, and include your town and country.
Then copy and e-mail to as many people as possible.
If you receive this list with more than 50 names on it, please e-mail a copy
of it to:

Mary Robinson, High Commissioner, UNHCHR, [log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>=20
<mailto:[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> >

and to:
Angela King, Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of
Women,
UN,  [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  mailto:[log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  <mailto:[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> >

Even if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not kill the
petition. Thank you.

It is best to copy rather than forward the petition.


--
Pierre MATHIEU - [log in to unmask] =
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>=20
Respons@ble <mailto:Respons@ble>  de http://www.lacinquieme.fr
<http://www.lacinquieme.fr>=20




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