Category Archives: Others


‘Culture’ the cuts and Violence Against Women and Girls – public meeting

Carlene Firmin (Principal Policy Advisor at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, OCC) on the findings of the OCC inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, the experiences of Black and minority ethnic victims and perpetrator profiling and data recording
Zlakha Ahmed (Director of Apna Haq Rotherham a Black, South Asian and minority ethnic women’s organisation which provides services to women facing violence) on the experiences and invisibility of Black and minority ethnic survivors of grooming, the denial across society about the extent of child sexual abuse and the ways in which media and community leaders shape discourse
Amrit Wilson (Freedom Without Fear Platform) on the changing policies on violence against women and girls in the context of austerity and privatisation, the increased role of the Criminal Justice System, as a preventative approach is abandoned in favour of one based on pursuing and punishing perpetrators, and the impact of the National Security agendas of the British state
Chair: Camille Kumar


‘Culture’ the Cuts and Violence Against Women and Girls

 ‘Culture’ the Cuts and Violence Against Women and Girls


Public meeting – all welcome

Tuesday 18thJune 2013, 6 pm  

Room V211, (2nd floor)

SOAS Vernon Square Campus (off Pentonville Road , not Russell Square)

Speakers include:

Zlakha Ahmed, Director, Apna Haq, Rotherham

Carlene Firmin, Principal Policy Advisor, Office of the Children’s Commissioner,

Amrit Wilson, Freedom Without Fear Platform,

Speaker from LAWA

The  sexual abuse, grooming, and other forms of violence against women and girls which are being reported almost daily in the media are taking place against a background of relentless closure of the very services which women and girls facing violence could turn to. Refuges and services for Black and Minority women particularly, which were fought for and established over the last three and a half decades, are being closed down. They are being replaced with punitive policies which involve the prosecution not only of the perpetrators but of women who withdraw cases.

At the same time and in apparentcontradiction, the violence against Black and ethnic minority women and their struggles against it are made invisible, except where they can be blamed on practicessupposedly unique to Black and ethnic minority cultures – forced marriage, honour killings and Female Genital Mutilation and so on. Join us to discuss these disturbing developments and look at the reality behind the myths

 *Who are the perpetrators of violence against women and girls in Britain and who are the victims and survivors?

* Why are ‘race’ and‘culture’ selectively invoked in discussions of violence against women and
girls?   Is racial profiling for potential perpetrators taking place?

*How do the moregeneral cuts to services and legal aid affect violence against women and girls and what do they tell us about the government’s commitment to combating this kind of violence?


Organised by Freedom Without Fear Platform

FREEDOM WITHOUT FEAR PLATFORM was set up in London UK, in solidarity with the anti-rape movement in India. It is an arena for Black, South Asian and ‘Minority Ethnic’ women to lead discussions on the violence against women and girls; to counter imperialist racist discourse that UK mainstream media bombards us with and; to highlight the co-opting of violence against women and girls issues by various groups who seek to further their own racist/anti-immigration/ Islamophobic agendas.


CPI(ML) Liberation Statement on DS Bhullar and Death Penalty

Commute DS Bhullar’s Death Sentence,

Abolish Death Penalty

The Supreme Court verdict rejecting the plea for commutation of death sentence for DS Bhullar is most unfortunate. The case against DS Bhullar rested almost wholly on custodial confession. In 2002, when the majority bench of the SC upheld the death penalty for him, Justice Shah in his minority judgement had actually argued for acquittal, on the grounds that custodial confession was inadmissible as evidence. In a case where even guilt is in such doubt, there can be no justification for the death penalty.

In the past the Supreme Court has held that long delay in carrying out the sentence could be grounds for commutation of the sentence of death into life imprisonment. However, the Supreme Court this time has held otherwise. In doing so, the apex court, instead of judging the matter on the grounds of principles of justice, has instead invoked the growth of terrorism “in recent years.” How can a matter of principle be subject to change on the grounds of subjective opinions and assertions of judges?

The SC has also chosen to make comments against human rights activists, accusing them of raising “the bogey of human rights.” In the case of Bhullar, it was a judge of the Supreme Court, not a human rights activist, who had called even his conviction into doubt on the grounds of insufficient evidence! If the Supreme Court considers ‘human rights’as a ‘bogey’, which institution is there to check the state from riding roughshod on human rights?

Last year, 14 retired judges wrote to the President of India, admitting that the Supreme Court had wrongly awarded the death sentence to 13 people. It is unacceptable in a democracy to risk such grave miscarriage of justice. Moreover, it is overwhelmingly those from marginalised sections of society who face the death penalty: offenders from privileged sections are rarely subjected to such punishment.


Hanging of Afzal Guru: A Travesty of Justice and Democracy

The hanging of Afzal Guru at 8 AM on 9 February, done in an extremely secretive manner without even informing his family, will be recognised by every justice-loving person as a case of justice being hanged to appease the communal fascist forces who want to make Narendra Modi India’s Prime Minister.

It is well known that Afzal was a surrendered Kashmiri militant who had given himself up to the BSF in 1993 and had since been working in the shadow of the Special Task Force of the Kashmir police, and was implicated in the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack case. He had no lawyer to represent him when the trial court convicted him without any direct evidence and yet the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty in the name of satisfying ‘the collective conscience of the society’ even as the High Court and the Supreme Court passed adverse remarks on the shoddy nature of investigation and dubious quality of evidence produced by the police.

Nobody has been hanged ever in this country for the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, for all the anti-Muslim violence including the horrific Mumbai and Surat riots of 1992 and the 2002 Gujarat genocide, or for the massacres of dalits, adivasis and other oppressed sections by private armies or the state. Far from satisfying the ‘collective conscience’ of the Indian society, the hanging of Afzal Guru only exposes the double standards of justice.

Faced with growing popular opposition and resistance on every front, the Congress party and the UPA government are desperately trying to appease the BJP and the communal-fascist brigade. The democratic movement in the country will reject and resist this Congress-BJP collusion and intensify the battle for justice and democratic rights for the common people of India.

(Dipankar Bhattacharya)
General Secretary, CPI(ML)(Liberation)

9 February 2013


Mulakat Afzal: The first interview Mohammad Afzal gave from inside Tihar jail, in 2006

Letter by Afzal Guru’s lawyers asking for his body to be handed over to family members

A Wife’s Appeal For Justice



Against Gender Violence! For Freedom Without Fear!

Protest outside the Indian High Commission on Republic day 2013

Over 80 people gathered today on India’s Republic day to express their solidarity with the women’s movement in India which poured onto the streets after the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old woman student on a bus in Delhi. In London today outside the Indian High Commission, protesters voiced their outrage at the scale of state violence and rape faced by women in India.

The slogans demanded justice for Soni Sori, an indigenous woman sexually assaulted by the Indian police where her torturer was given a police medal for gallantry on India’s Republic Day a year ago. There was also a call for justice for Aasiya Jan and Nilofer Jan, two Kashmiri women raped and murdered by the Central Reserve Police force in 2009. The placards demanded implementation of Justice Verma Commission’s recommendation of immediately removing immunity from prosecution for sexual crimes – the army, paramilitaries and the police. They also stated that ‘the SP of Dantewada Ankit Garg, responsible for the sexual torture of Soni Sori, must be stripped of the presidential gallantry award and punished’,along with SRP Kalluri another Chhattisgarh police officer responsible for rape and torture who was honoured this Republic Day. Amrit Wilson from South Asia Solidarity Group in her address to the gathering added some of the other demands – the recognition of rape in marriage, the  prohibition of the ‘two-finger test’ for rape, and an end to sexual harassment at the workplace.

A number of groups came together – South Asia Solidarity Group, the Justice for Soni Sori group, the Indian Workers Association and Imkaan calling for an end to state violence and rape. Slogans included ‘Indian president – stop honouring rape’, ‘who raped Nilofer Jha – Indian military and Indian state’, ‘who raped Soni Sori – Indian police and India state’. Their voices of protest joined by Newham Asian Women’s project, Southall Black Sisters, Older Feminist Network, Iranian and Afghanistan Women’s group and others were heard by a number of passers-by who stopped to read the placards and listen to the  slogans. There were many new faces not usually seen at these kinds of public events. Two young women with a placard saying ‘don’t tell us not to go out – tell your sons not to rape’ had taken the slogan from the protests in India ‘Don’t teach me what to wear – teach your sons not to rape’, and made it their own.

Writer and actor Meera Syal also addressed the gathering and stated ‘India claims to be a new superpower but look at the way it treats women. More important than being the best in IT is changing the way women are treated’. There were calls for keeping up the pressure and organising more events for protesting sexual violence against women which is taking place in India and Britain.