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Witch torture trial: Sister describes brother’s beating

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2012 at 06:51

The sister of a boy tortured to death for being a “witch” wept in court as she told how her brother was beaten with a stick, hammer and iron bar.

Kristy Bamu, 15, from Paris, was found dead in a bath in a flat in Newham, east London, on Christmas Day in 2010.

His sister Magalie Bamu and her boyfriend, Eric Bikubi, both 28 and living in Newham, deny the murder.

Kelly Bamu, 21, said her sister Magalie Bamu “deserves to die” for doing nothing as Mr Bikubi beat Kristy.

The defendants also deny assaulting Kelly Bamu and a sibling.

Prosecutors have told jurors of acts they described as “depraved”, “wicked” and “cruel”.

Kristy and his four siblings had come to London from Paris to spend Christmas with the couple, when they were beaten and terrorised for four days, the Old Bailey heard.

“Obsessed by witchcraft’

Kristy became the focus of the attack and was hit with an “armoury of weapons”, including sticks, pliers, a metal bar, hammer and chisel. He suffered 101 injuries.

Giving evidence through an interpreter, Kelly Bamu said there had been a “nice atmosphere” at first but the defendants began talking about kindoki, the African term for witchcraft, and she and Kristy were accused of being “witches”.

She said: “It was as if they were obsessed by witchcraft and then it became absolutely unbearable.

“I did not know what was going on in their minds. They decided we had come there to kill them.”

Miss Bamu said she and Kristy were made to fast and pray all night but then Mr Bikubi allegedly said he would use a stick to get them to tell the truth.

She said: “He began to hit Kristy while my sister was watching and didn’t do anything.

“I begged him: ‘We didn’t do anything, we are innocent’. She didn’t argue at all. She was just sitting there as a spectator.

“He hit and hit Kristy. He was not feeling well, He was having trouble breathing and he fell over.

“As far as Eric and Magalie were concerned, that was the kindoki coming out of him.”

Miss Bamu said her brother suffered over 200 blows and as Mr Bikubi hit the boy with a hammer and an iron bar, Magalie Bamu also joined in with a stick.

“Kristy asked for forgiveness. He asked again and again.

“Magalie did absolutely nothing. She didn’t lift a finger and she was convinced that we did bad things,” Kelly Bamu said.

Addressing her sister in the dock Miss Bamu said: “You are an idiot.

“I am sure she still believes, even to this day, that we are witches.”

Mr Bikubi has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, a plea not accepted by the prosecution. He has also admitted assaulting Kristy’s siblings.

Magalie Bamu denies the murder, as well as two charges of causing actual bodily harm to her other siblings.

The case continues.

Priests brawl in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2011 at 09:20

At one of oldest churches in the world, built over the cave that tradition marks as the place Jesus was born, Franciscan, Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests have brawled annually around Christmas Day for more than a century.

This year was no different.

Scuffles between the rival groups of priests broke out during a cleaning of the church in preparation for Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7. The BBC reports that about 100 priests fought with brooms as tourists looked on, until Palestinian police broke up the clashes. No one was seriously injured, and there were no arrests.

“No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God,” Bethlehem police Lt. Col. Khaled al-Tamimi told Reuters. Tamimi called the incident “a trivial problem that . . . occurs every year.”

In past years, the priests have brawled over who owns which altars, passageways and chandeliers, and how to do repairs, according to news accounts. In 2010, the fight broke out while priests were trying to repair the church’s rotting, collapsing roof.

In 2008, the fight took place next to the purported site of Jesus’s tomb and landed two clergymen in jail.

Watch the video of this year’s melee here.

Pakistan: Karachi police free chained students

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2011 at 12:09

About 50 students have been freed from a religious school in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, where some were being kept in chains, officials say.

The male students, some as young as 12, were reportedly beaten, deprived of food and kept in what police say amounted to a torture chamber.

Some parents paid for their children to attend the school known as the “jail madrassa” because their sons were addicted to drugs or involved in crime.

One said he was beaten 200 times, while another said they were told they would be sent to join the jihad and if they tried to escape they would get 200 lashes.

“I was kept in the basement for the past month and was kept in chains. They also tortured me severely during this period. I was beaten with sticks,” student Mohi-ud-Din told Reuters news agency.

Our correspondent met one teenager who said they were forced to study all hours. “We were not provided proper food or clothing,” he said.

One boy said Taliban members had visited the seminary and told them to “prepare for battle”.

Some parents paid substantial amounts to enrol their children at the seminary and correspondents say that in some cases parents actually applied the chains which imprisoned their children.

Many parents had left their children at the madrassa for treatment, believing that the harsh regime would aid rehabilitation – some of these parents told the BBC they were happy with the result. They say they were chained to prevent them for escaping.

“If a child has issues such as bad company, smoking and drugs then we have no choice but to get him admitted in such places,” Mohammed Qasim, the father of one student, told the BBC.

Babar Khan, 16, spent nine months in the “jail school”.

Originally from Karachi, he was taken there by his parents because he would not go to school.

“We were not able to see the sun or the moon for several days at a stretch,” he said.

“We were kept in an underground room while small kids were kept on the first storey with chains.

“The last time I had tea was several months back. They would serve us dinner after midnight. But that too would be in small portions.

“Mostly the food was lentils with lots of water and no salt or spices. The students used to fight over bread. This too when my parents were paying them 8,000 rupees [about $90; £58] a month in fees.

“I was beaten up the first day after my parents left me here.

“We were allowed to talk to our families once a month on the telephone or [have] one visit a month from family members.

“They told us not to talk about our status with them.

“Before any visit, they would let us have a bath and wear clean clothes.

“A school worker was made to sit with us to listen to our conversations.

“They warned us we could meet bitter treatment if we told our parents about it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16167602

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2011 at 08:12

“What about Zainab Singh? Her mother caught her at the bus stop, talking to a boy. That was three weeks ago and Mira hasn’t let her out of the house since. I said to her, “Mira, you have only yourself to blame. Let her mix with white girls and she will pick up white girl ways”“.

The worst think you can say to an Asian girl is that she is behaving like a white person. We weren’t allowed to mix with white people because Mum said they didn’t have any morals or self-respect. She said whites were dirty people with dirty ways. That’s what all the women I called Aunty thought too, and everyone else in our community. An Asian boy might have a bit of fun with white girls – “white meat”, that’s what they’d say – while he was growing up, but when it came to settling down, his family would find him a good Asian bride. If an Asian girl went out with a white boy that was different, that was bad. Her brothers or her uncles would find him and beat him up and then they would beat her too, for bringing shame on the family. Then she would be ruined; no decent Asian man would ever want her. Everyone in the community knew that.

Jasvinder Sanghera

Shame

Saudi King Reverses Punishment For Woman Caught Driving

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2011 at 06:58

Saudi King Abdullah has overturned a court ruling sentencing a Saudi woman to be lashed 10 times for defying the kingdom’s ban on female drivers, a government official said Wednesday.

The official declined to elaborate on the monarch’s decision, and spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

A Saudi court on Tuesday found Shaima Jastaina guilty of violating the driving ban, and sentenced her to 10 lashes. The verdict took Saudi women by surprise, coming just a day after King Abdullah promised to protect women’s rights and decreed that women would be allowed to participate in municipal elections in 2015. Abdullah also promised to appoint women to a currently all-male advisory body known as the Shura Council.

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