Female clerics declare fatwa on child marriage in Indonesia

Source: FMT News

'Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.' Pic from FMT News.

‘Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.’ Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Female clerics on Thursday issued an unprecedented fatwa against child marriage in Indonesia in a bid to stop young girls becoming brides in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

The fatwa – which is influential among Muslims but not legally binding – came at the end of an extraordinary three-day conference of female Islamic clerics: a rare example of women assuming a lead role in religious affairs in this mostly-Muslim country.

“Maternal mortality is very high in Indonesia. We as female clerics can play a role on the issue of child marriage,” conference organiser Ninik Rahayu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read more

Dewan Negara approves Sosma extension

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act of 2012 (Sosma) is set to stay for the next five years after Dewan Negara voted to approve its extension.

Approved last night, the motion on the review of the implementation of subsection 4 (5) of the Act was submitted by Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

He said the proposed extension on the maximum 28-day detention period under subsection 4 (5) of Sosma was the first since it came into force on July 31, 2012.

“We look at Maria Chin’s (Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah) case. She is not a political detainee. What is her political party? So the allegation that Sosma is being used on political detainees is not true,” he said.

He added that throughout the enforcement period, there were no incidents of detainees dying or being injured from abuse. Read more

Another student claims abuse in religious school

Source: The Star Online

Painful experience: Suraya Fatima (left) showing Muhammad Resan’s scars to lawyer Gerard Lazarus during the press conference in Klang. Looking on is the boy’s father, M.D. Ekramul. Pic from the Star Online.

Painful experience: Suraya Fatima (left) showing Muhammad Resan’s scars to lawyer Gerard Lazarus during the press conference in Klang. Looking on is the boy’s father, M.D. Ekramul. Pic from the Star Online.

KLANG: Another case of a beating in a religious school has surfaced with an 11-year-old boy claiming an ustaz (religious teacher) in a private religious boarding school had abused him and threatened him with more punishment if he complained to his parents.

“He also said my brain would not be able to memorise the Quran if I complained about an ustaz,” said Muhammad Resan Abdullah.

The ustaz has since been charged in court but after reading about the fate that had be­fallen Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi, his parents engaged a lawyer yesterday to re-examine the case. Read more

When Malaysian school authorities use the rod… and physically harm children

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A school boy walks past a street mural depicting a school bus and students in Shah Alam, January 2, 2014. — Reuters pic.

A school boy walks past a street mural depicting a school bus and students in Shah Alam, January 2, 2014. — Reuters pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — An assistant hostel warden’s beating of an Islamic religious student which resulted in the amputation of the 11-year-old’s legs and his subsequent death on Wednesday may well be the most severe abuse case in schools in recent years.

Alleged abuses of schoolchildren by adults entrusted to teach and care for them have ranged from verbal to physical hurt to degrading treatment and public humiliation.

Here is a list of selected cases where students were reportedly abused: Read more

Southeast Asia’s leaders steer away from democracy, say activists

Source: FMT News

By every measure, the region is falling deeper into dictatorship, repression, and rights abuse. Pic from FMT News.

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war is part of a worrying assault on human rights and democracy across Southeast Asia, activists said as regional leaders gathered in Manila on Friday.

Duterte has been condemned in the West for the crackdown, which has claimed thousands of lives since he took power last year, but he is expected to enjoy the support of most of his guests as he hosts the heads of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

This is partly because the leaders of most other countries in the region have few democratic credentials themselves, or have human rights clouds hanging over them, according to Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division. Read more