Women violently punished

Article published in Expressen
16 May 2016
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Prabir Das /  Dipa Mahbuba Yasmin / Taslima Akhter

Bangladesh. Sara Hossain has been a solicitor at the Supreme Court in Bangladesh since 1992, and she is one of the strongest voices against ingrained patriarchal structures within the country’s juridical system.

Earlier this year, she was awarded the International Women of Courage Award from the American Foreign Office for her achievements. One of the reasons for her nomination was her victory in her fight against the fatwa, a religious decree issued by muslim scholars and often used in village courts to motivate violence against women. Through the fatwas, women are publicly punished for things like rape, infidelity, and extramarital pregnancies. The punishments range from shaving the woman’s hair off and social exclusion to whipping and stoning.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.expressen.se/geo/sa-straffas-kvinnor-med-piskrapp-och-avrakat-har–sara-hossain-leder-kampen-mot/

Israel and Palestine threaten press freedom

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
3 May 2016

By Nizar Habash
Photos: Ziad Sabbah

Israel/Palestine. The attacks on journalists are increasing in the occupied territories in Palestine. There are no laws that guarantee the right to information, and journalists are constantly worried about getting harmed or arrested.

There are over 400 Israeli checkpoints on the West Bank. Journalists are frequently searched, and Palestinian media coverage is often denied by the Israeli forces.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.svd.se/journalister-pressas-fran-tva-hall

Sexual harassment and threats against journalists in Zimbabwe

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
3 May 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe. During the colonial era of Zimbabwe, laws were established to prevent journalists from reporting on government violence. The current government uses similar tools to gag the country’s media, 36 years after independence. 

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/koloniala-lagar-lagger-munkavle-pa-pressen

Terror after wave of brutal killings in Bangladesh

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
3 May 2016
By Sushmita Preetha
Photos: Taslima Akhter

 Roopban is the first magazine for HBTQ people in Bangladesh, and its headquarters has turned into a murder scene. The 25 April, Roopban’s editor Xulhas Mannan and his friend Tanay Majumdar were murdered and dismembered. The local militia group Ansar al-Islam, who is said to have connections to al-Qaida, have claimed responsibiity for the murders. Their motivation being that Xulhus and Tanay worked to promote homosexuality.

Full article (in Swedish) here:: http://www.svd.se/skracken-vem-star-nast-pa-tur


Journalists risk prison for criticising politicians

Article published in Svenska dagbladet
3 May 2016
By Jorge Riveros Cayo
Photos: Yayo Lopez

In Peru it’s become clear that a democratic regime doesn’t automatically mean protection of press freedom. Two court cases show how old laws against criminal slander is used to punish critical journalists.

In April Fernando Valencia, journalist and former editor of the daily newspaper Diario 16, was sentenced to a 20 months provisory prison sentence and a 100 000 soles (£23 500) fine to Peru’s former President Alan Carcía. García sued Valencia for slander for a headline in 2013.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/fortalslagar-hotar-strypa-pressfriheten

Time for Peru to choose its path

Article published in Göteborgsposten
10 April 2016
By Jorge Riveros-Cayo
Photos: Martin Mejia

Peru. The Presidential election is coming up in Peru, and it looks like it will be a tight race, with Keiko Fujimori in the lead. She’s the daughter of the previous president Alberto Fujimori, who at present is serving a 24 year long prison sentence for corruption and crimes against human rights.

Keiko Fujimori has had around 30 percent of the votes in the polls, but the last few months that number has increased to 40 percent, which means she has a big chance at winning the election in the first round. But her father’s history means a lot of people are upset she might become the president.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/dags-f%C3%B6r-peru-att-v%C3%A4lja-v%C3%A4g-1.185221

Tough for poor people with diabetes

Article published in Göteborgsposten
7 April 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe. Today, the World Health Day focuses on diabetes. In Zimbabwe HIV/Aids receives more support, but almost as many are estimated to have diabetes. For poor people it is a challenge keeping the illness in check.

“To be a diabetic doesn’t mean that life is over, but it is a diagnosis that is testing both financially and emotionally”, says Betty Mapuranga, 57. She lives in Warren Park, one of the poorest areas of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.

In Zimbabwe, 72 percent of the population lives on less than 1,25 dollars per day. Diabetics such as Betty Mapuranga has a difficult time managing the problem of costs related to medicines and healthy foods.
“I’ve had to give a lot of things up because of this illness”, she says.


Young women are stopping child marriages

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
7 March 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha

Zimbabwe. Child marriages are common in Zimbabwe, despite being against the constitution.  When Ruvimbo Tsopotsa was 15 years old, her father forced her to marry a man who went on to abuse her. Ruvimbo turned to the constitutional court to repeal the  marriage and was successful. Now child marriages may be stopped. 

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/unga-kvinnor-stoppar-barnaktenskap-i-zimbabwe

Towards a fifth term

Article published in Göteborgsposten
17 February 2016
By Richard Kavuma
Photos: Samson Baranga / Benon Herbert Oluka

Uganda. Tomorrow Uganda holds elections, and most signs indicate that the sitting head of state, Yoweri Museveni, is heading for a fifth term. However, organisations concerned with human rights issues warn that the calm in the country is false.

In previous elections, both courts and the opposition has claimed that the elections were neither free nor fair, but in favour of the ruling party. This time opposition groups have been talking about forming citizen armies to protect those voting, something that can be interpreted as a call to confrontation.


Six have been killed since the fall of Mubarak

Article published in Journalisten
22 December 2015
By Shahira Amin

Egypt. For many years, Shahira Amin worked as a news anchor and reporter for the English speaking public service channel. When the protests came in 2011, she resigned.

“For the first time in my 30 year long career I felt truly free.”

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.journalisten.se/kronika/sex-har-dodats-sedan-mubaraks-fall

Polio is getting eradicated

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 December 2015
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Islamabad. At the health clinic in the G-9 district of Islamabad, free polio vaccine is given in drips. Doctor Zeenat Mahtab says that a lot of people refuse the drops because of rumours and false information spread by the taliban.

“It is rumoured that the polio vaccine causes infertility in children and that it makes them sick. Now we’ve finally been able to get religious leaders to publicly state that there are no issues with the polio drips and that they actually are very important for a child’s health”, she says.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/nu-%C3%A4r-polion-p%C3%A5-v%C3%A4g-bort-1.179351

Bumpy road to equality for Tunisia’s women

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
9 December 2015
By Shahira Amin
Photos: Anis Mili

Tunisia. The network Tha’era is an organisation working to promote democracy and women’s political engagement.
“There needs to be a shift in the way both women and men think”, says Ommezine Khelifa.

Before the revolution Ommezine Khelifa, engineer and policital activist, had a top job in the finance sector in France. But since the Arab Spring 2011, she’s back in Tunisia.
“When I heard about the protests in Tunisia I didn’t think twice, but packed my bags. I clearly felt that I had a part to play in the movement for change”, says Ommezine.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.svd.se/knagglig-vag-mot-jamlikhet-for-tunisiens-kvinnor/om/idagsidan

Prepared for a new disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
16 August 2015
By Maria Elena Hurtado
Photos: Joaquin Elgueta

Chile. In the evening on the 1st of April the lights suddenly went out in 52-year old teacher Cecilia Araya’s house in northern Chile. The floorboards started shaking and windows shattered – she knew exactly what was happening.

-Three minutes later, the local authorities sent out an earthquake and tsunami warning via phones, TV and the local radio stations. The sirens along the coast urged people to go inland, Cecilia remembers.



The silent war of the Amazon

Article published in Göteborgsposten
2 May 2015
By Ana Aranha

Brazil. The Brazilian government is planning to build a hydroelectric facility on the land of the indigenous munduruku people, something that has made the mundurukus declare war.

“Let the government come, we will fight till our death”, says Maria Leusa Cosme Kaba Munduruku. She is a 28-year old mother of four and respected by her people as a leader and warrior.

The hydro power project in the Amazon was started when the sitting president Dilma Rouseff was the mine and energy minister. She claimed that hydroelectric powers would play a strategic part in the promised acceleration and growth of Brazil.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/det-tysta-kriget-i-amazonas-1.121189

Back home and safe from the violence

Article published in Svenska Dagbladet
9 May 2015

By Sergio Cruz

When Katerin Malespí was 14 she left her home to go and live with a man twice her age. When the relationship ended four years later, she returned to her childhood home with a baby in her arms.

“I felt totally ruined and didn’t want the neighbours to see me. But there was nowhere else I could go. I’m deeply grateful that my mother welcomed me with open arms”, says Katerin.

Katerin’s relationship ended due to violence. In Nicaragua, men’s violence against women is common. In order to escape, women often have to move back home or find a new husband. The responsibility for the children usually falls on the women. Katerin’s 41-year old mother Carmen Torres has four children with three different men. Her relationships  were characterised by the men’s violence and their excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.svd.se/har-hos-mamma-slipper-jag-valdet/om/familjeliv-i-varlden