In the Spirit of Crazy Horse Doksha Leonard Peltier

http://files.mail-list.com/m/freepeltiernow/Peltier-Birthday-12_PELTIER-BIRTHDAY-12.pdf

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Greetings my relatives and supporters,

and, we are all truly relatives

in one way or another,

First of all I want to thank all of

you for remembering me on this

day, as many of you probably

suspect and some know, that

when you are in prison you have

a lot of time to reflect and think on

how things are, and how they

were and perhaps how they

should be. Having said that, I was

thinking about how on your birthday

the person who really should

be celebrated is your Mother, for

she carried you for 9 months and went through the pain of giving

you life. So truly a person’s birthday should be another

Mother’s Day. So if a woman has four children, she should

have four Mothers days. All too often people talk about the exploits

of men and what they said and what they did, and all too

often give no thought to the women who gave them life, the

women who supported them, the women who cared for the children

while they did what they did, who kept the home fires

burning and families fed. There is a certain adrenaline flow that

takes place when you are involved in movement activities and

trying to make a difference, a satisfaction in doing the right

thing and sometimes being successful in righting what’s wrong.

However, the really true heroes in this are the women who do

day after day what needs to be done, and give their children

the values they need to stand up for what is right in this world.

Again, I want to thank you, you can’t imagine how much it

means to a prisoner to be remembered. When a person goes

to prison their immediate family, relatives and friends are attentive

on some level but as time goes on, it’s almost as if you had

died and you are only remembered on certain occasions. There

are a multitude of people in prison that they have forgotten

about that were movement people, people who stood up for the

earth, the animals, nature, water rights, human rights, civil

rights, all of those things, and have been forgotten. They are

only remembered by a few. I am really truly thankful and I have

to be thankful to all of the movement people throughout the

world who have recognized the injustice that has been perpetuated

against Indigenous people. And I am fortunate that there

are those who have found me to be evidence of that injustice

because of all of the legal recognition from the courts of the improper

proceedings that took place. My case as many of you

well know probably has more recognition of improprieties than

most, and I recognize that I am an ordinary man who has been

cast into an extraordinary situation, and have served as legal

evidence of their wrongdoing. Forgive me if I am getting too

wordy and singing to the choir, but I have probably had too

much time to think. I do want to encourage all of you to keep

standing up for what is right to keep trying to right what is

wrong, and I want you to know there are those who appreciate

what you do, and oftentimes you may find yourself the only one

standing up. And more often than not, whether you realized it or

not, it was your Mother that directly or indirectly gave you that

strength, that woman you should celebrate on your birthday. I

encourage all of you to have fun, enjoy your freedom, enjoy

your life and have some cake and ice cream, or pemmican, or

hotdogs or dog stew for me. And remember when you stand

up, wherever you are, I’ll be standing with you even though it’s

some distant place.

In closing again I want you to enjoy and know that I am thinking

of you and appreciative and may the Great Spirit Bless you with

all you need and enough to share with others.

I’ll close for now, got some thinking to do, Ayee.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Doksha Leonard Peltier

An open letter about my son, Gary McKinnon, to Theresa May and David Cameron My son has spent 10 wasted years awaiting extradition to the US on computer hacking charges. Please help end this daily torture. Janis Sharp guardian.co.uk, Friday 7 September 2

The Guardian home

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/07/open-letter-gary-mckinnon

An open letter about my son, Gary McKinnon, to Theresa May and David Cameron

My son has spent 10 wasted years awaiting extradition to the US on computer hacking charges. Please help end this daily torture

British computer hacker Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon … ‘He has no life and is broken, like a wounded animal with no outlet and no hope’ Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

Dear Theresa and David,

 

As you are aware, my son Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, was arrested in London in March 2002 for computer misuse and has now been under virtual house arrest for over 10 years while fighting extradition to the US.

People find it hard to believe that this can be happening in Britain in the year 2012, but it is.

Gary was arrested more than 10 years ago for allegedly hacking into Nasa and Pentagon computers from his bedroom in London while searching for evidence of UFOs and free energy that Gary believed was being suppressed by the US government. It’s true that Gary left cheeky cyber notes telling the US that their security was virtually nonexistent and that he’d continue disrupting by leaving cybernotes until someone at the top listened to him and installed passwords and firewalls that should have been there in the first place to protect their systems, but weren’t.

To his detriment Gary also left a cyber note saying that American foreign policy was akin to state-sponsored terrorism. Had this been scrawled on a wall few would have noticed and to a young man with Asperger’s syndrome, telling the truth as he saw it was as natural as getting out of bed in the morning. However Gary had now not only embarrassed the US by highlighting their lack of any basic security, but he had angered them.

No one, but especially someone with Asperger’s, could ever have realised the horrendous consequences that would arise from a country whose first amendment is one protecting free speech. Or that an extradition treaty with America, yet to be written, could allow him (without any evidence being presented to a British court) to be forcibly removed from his home, his family and all that he has ever known, to be taken to a foreign land where he could be incarcerated in a foreign prison for up to 60 years. All for a crime that according to the Hi-Tech Crime Unit in 2002, would have attracted a sentence of six months community service in Britain.

My son has now been under arrest for longer than any British citizen ever has. He hasn’t raped anyone, he hasn’t murdered anyone, so can’t understand how this can be happening to him, as no matter how much anyone may choose to exaggerate his crime, the fact is that his crime was tapping on a keyboard in his bedroom in north London in search of information on aliens from outer space.

Gary rarely ever leaves his home as he is traumatised to the core. A boy who cycled, swam, composed music and sang, now sits in the dark with his cats and never wants to see or speak to anyone.

He has no life, and is broken, like a wounded animal with no outlet and no hope, seeing only the dark side and the cruelty that exists in the world.

My only child has lost 10 years of his youth and has aged and died before my eyes.

Ten years of being in a constant state of fear while fighting to stop my son Gary being taken from his home and family has made the days, months and years indistinguishable from each other, as hopes raised to the heavens come crashing down to Earth on a regular basis.

We were elated when in a bid to have Gary tried in the UK, you, our prime minister, raised Gary’s case with President Obama during your first televised joint press conference in America in 2010. When President Obama said an appropriate solution would be found, we were moved to tears. We waited and waited and waited, but the months passed and nothing happened.

We were again ecstatic when you raised Gary’s case with President Obama for a second time during your second joint press conference in London in 2011, but in spite of President Obama stating that it was a British decision that America would respect and despite great expectations from all who heard it, and constantly being congratulated by strangers in the street, nothing happened.

When Gary’s MP David Burrowes asked the American ambassador why the US was still pursuing Gary, his response was: “He mocked us“.

I wrote to the Queen during her diamond jubilee to ask her to bestow the gift of mercy on my son who was arrested before even her golden jubilee 10 years previously, but in a response from Buckingham Palace, it seems only our government is privy to the Queen’s powers which she herself is unable to use.

I constantly write letters in the hope that the pen really is mightier than the sword and that I can reach souls of courage and compassion in the heart of our government, who can put an end to this decade of mental torture.

Whether the rain falls or the sun shines means little anymore, as we live in this unreal world where Gary sits in the dark and I spend each day and night until the early hours of the morning working on trying to save my son from virtual death. I no longer have any other conversation as I’m unable to escape from this mental imprisonment, grounded in fear.

I am hoping with all my heart that Theresa May our home secretary, who I believe is a strong woman, will have in her heart the courage and compassion that will allow her to do what is right and to give my son his life back.I pray that one day I will see the light return to my son’s eyes and that this seemingly never-ending torture will soon come to an end.

If our government is afraid to make a right and just decision for fear of upsetting our friends, then something is wrong with that friendship which must be put right, or we as a nation are allowing our people to be enslaved, making us unable to command respect that by its very nature has to be earned.

We are now at the final hurdle and it takes strength and courage to make that final jump, but jump it we must, if we are to emerge with dignity and self respect.

Our government’s first duty is to protect British citizens, including our most vulnerable. Please have the strength to do what is right and to give my son his life back.

With deepest respect,

 

Janis Sharp

 

• This article was amended on 7 September 2012. It originally stated that the Crown Prosecution Service had said in 2002 that a crime like Gary McKinnon’s would have attracted a sentence of six months community service in Britain. It was actually the Hi-Tech Crime Unit that made that assessment. This has now been corrected

UNIVERSITY FOR PEACE – Free Sara Kruzan Jesaka Sekmet September 12, 2012

Free Sara Kruzan
Jesaka Sekmet
September 12, 2012


Jesaka Sekmet, co-founder of Free Sara Kruzan, explains the details of Sara’s story and the circumstances around her conviction to life in prison. On September 18, 2012 Riverside District Attorney Paul Zellerbach will decide whether Sara will be released with time served. The National Campaign to Free Sara Kruzan is currently petitioning, educating and demonstrating for Sara’s immediate release.

 


International Peace Builders & Human Rights Activists,

Since my time at UPEACE (Peace Education, Class of 2009) I have come to work with the Global Human Rights Campaign to Free Sara Kruzan. You’ve never heard of Sara? I’m not surprised. See, she’s been locked up on a life with no possibility of parole sentence in the United States, since she was a child in 1994. I remember that day, when I first saw her on the news. I was 12 and in state custody. Sara was 3 and 3/4 years older than me, yet I related to Sara to a T. Sara had been a victim of child sex slavery, more commonly known as child prostitution. Sara had been pushed to the limit and had let off the shot that ended the life of her sex captor. Then at that age, I knew how it felt to have to hurt someone in your self defense or otherwise to endure increased violence. Thus, from then in 1994, I resolved that I would find Sara Kruzan one day and see that she were given some opportunity to rehabilitate, rather than to face life in prison without any possibility of parole.

During my MA Program I caught up with Kim Deanne of Free Sara Kruzan and by 2010 I started producing content on behalf of the national campaign. Now in 2012, I am volunteering my time, around the clock, to ensure that Sara Kruzan is released at the nearest date possible. I have reviewed all of her court documents (available upon request) and here I would like to share with you her story, in sum. For more information, for Sara’s Story, Human Rights Watch Video, all interviews and requests, you may contact us at: info@freesarakruzan.org

Sincerely Yours,

Jesaka Sekmet, Recording Artist

Peace Education, Class of 2009 🙂

Sara’s Story

Sara Kruzan

Sara Kruzan (d.o.b. January 8, 1978) is a survivor of child molestation, rape, of child-sex trafficking and of intimate battering. March 10, 1994, when child-sex captor G. G. Howard was motioning to rape Sara inside of a hotel room, Sara let off the fatal gunshot that ended her 5-year child sex-captors life. A year later on May 10, 1995, at the age of 17, Sara was convicted of the first degree murder [PC 187] of George Gilbert Howard. Sara was sentenced to life in prison, plus four years, with no possibility of parole. Signed on December 31, 2010, the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, commuted Sara’s sentence to life with the possibility of parole, come 2020.

Early Life

Sara Kruzan grew up in Riverside, California with an older sister and a single mother on welfare. Sara’s father was an ex-convict and heroine addict. On one of three occasions when Sara met her father, she witnessed him shooting up heroin in a bathroom. Sara’s mother was mentally ill, emotionally unstable and addicted to cocaine. She battered Sara and Sara’s sister physically and psychologically since they were infants. In one of Sara’s earliest memories, her mother smacked her across the face until blood splattered from her nose onto a nearby dresser. Child Protective Services opened an investigation in 1989, due to being notified (by Sara’s school) of bruises on Sara’s body. In 1993, Child Protective Services determined it to be unsafe for Sara to reside with her mother.

Sara was molested by several of the men her mother brought home. Sara’s earliest memory of molestation is cited at age five. As these incidents persisted, Sara’s mother did nothing to stop them, but instead displayed jealousy and blamed Sara. Sara was exposed to her mother’s sex and drug activity. By fourth grade, Sara started cutting. By age 11, Sara began to leave home without permission. Sara’s mother showed no sign of concern. Instead, she physically assaulted Sara and forced her out of her residence. At age 11, Sara was hospitalized for attempted suicide. Rather than to provide Sara with adequate safety, the State sent Sara home.

Child-Sex Trafficking

At age 11, George Gilbert Howard picked up Sara as she was walking home from school. G. G. bribed Sara with ice cream, then took her to his residence, where he undressed her and molested her, thereby committing a first degree felony sexual assault. From that date forward, G. G. Howard indoctrinated Sara into the child-sex trade. At age 12, Sara’s mother set Sara up with a 23 year old “mentor”, who furnished Sara with alcohol and raped her repeatedly over the course of a year. [In the State of California under PC 261.5, sex with a minor is defined as rape.] At age 13, Sara was gang raped by three men. Sara’s mother refused to allow Sara to press charges. She insisted it would backfire and that Sara had “asked for it”.

At age 13, 33 year old George Gilbert Howard raped Sara Kruzan [PC 261.5] then immediately began to sexually exploit Sara, selling her body for three years in the child-sex trade. G. G. Howard threatened Sara and set her in dangerous situations, in addition to the dangers of prostitution. At age 15, Sara was hospitalized when she survived a fatal car crash. Sara was then placed in five or six foster care homes, while she repeatedly ran away to return to G. G. Howard over the course of five months.

Plans to Escape

November of 1993, Sara attempted to escape a life of prostitution by going to Ontario with a 15 year old male friend. Sara’s mother threatened to report kidnap, ergo Sara returned to her mother’s neighborhood. Sara’s friend found a place where the two could temporarily stay with a friend’s uncle, James Earl Hampton. “James Earl” was a convicted felon and drug dealer out on parole. (James E. Hampton, Prisoner ID P23654, has since been convicted of rape and attempted murder, and is serving out a life sentence in the State of California.) As James Earl bragged of the murders he committed, waved guns and threatened to take Sara’s friends life, Sara hoped to borrow money from G. G. to get her own apartment. When James Earl caught wind of this, he demanded Sara follow his instructions to rob and murder G. G. if she wished that she and her loved ones survive.

The Crime Scene

March 9, 1994, James Earl Hampton garnered Sara Kruzan with a pistol and a pager. He ordered Sara to call G. G. Howard to arrange that the two of them meet. James Earl Hampton brought Sara to where G. G. picked her up to take her to a movie theater. Sara began to receive several pages from James Hampton, instructing “187? (as she knew to be the California Penal Code Section for Murder). G. G. escorted Sara to the same hotel room where he had raped her on prior occasions. While G. G. payed for the room, Sara called James Earl and asked to speak with her friend who was held hostage. James Earl declined to allow it and threatened Sara that she would not survive if she did not follow through with the murder and robbery of G. G. Howard.

Passed midnight, in the hotel room, 36 year old G. G. Howard put on a pornographic movie and began undressing and touching 16 year old Sara. G. G. took out a large sex toy. Sara dreaded being raped by G. G. Howard. When G. G. turned to plug the sex toy into the wall, Sara shot him. Sara took G. G. Howard’s money and keys, but left behind her purse, identification and shoes. She delivered the car and money to James Earl. James held a gun to Sara’s head and instructed her of what to say if she were questioned. James Earl brought Sara to some other residence where he ordered she be kept locked away in a room. When James Earl brought Sara to his mothers house, she was arrested. Sara initially repeated the story that James Earl demanded, yet she soon confessed to the shooting.

Her Life Sentence

Sara was 16 years old and had no priors. The convicted James Earl Hampton and the minor (then a friend of Sara’s) were never brought to trial. Sara’s defense counsel, David Gunn, advised Sara to take the case to trial. Sara Kruzan was tried in Riverside County Superior Court, with Judge J. Thompson Hanks presiding. The testimony lasted two and a half days. The jurors were not aware that George Gilbert Howard had sexually assaulted, raped and indoctrinated Sara into the child-sex trade for five years. While no expert witnesses spoke in Sara’s defense, Sara agreed to nearly every leading question the prosecutor asked. The probation officer assigned to Sara Kruzan’s case overlooked PC 190.5, that granted court discretion to sentence minors convicted of first degree murder to 25 to life with the possibility of parole. The officer incorrectly stated that State law required the court to sentence Sara to life without possibility of parole. On May 10, 1995, at the age of 17, Sara was sentenced to life in prison, plus four years, without possibility of parole.

Intimate Battering

Two key experts independently concluded that Sara suffered from the effects of intimate partner battering at the time of the shooting and that expert testimony would have affected the outcome of the criminal proceedings. After a thorough evaluation of Sara Kruzan and her documents, Dr. Linda S. Barnard concluded that, “Sara was suffering from the effects of intimate partner battering in March 1994 and her behaviors and actions were affected – if not controlled by – the years of abuse she endured. By failing to have an expert on intimate partner battering and its effects to explain the many complexities involved in this case, Sara Kruzan’s defense was severely limited.” Dr. Nancy Kaser-Boyd concluded, “Ms. Kruzan clearly suffered the common effects of intimate partner battering on the night of the shooting. Most young people [suffering from intimate partner battering and its effects] respond well to therapy and become healthy adults with therapeutic intervention.”

Free Sara Kruzan

Free Sara Kruzan was founded in 2006, by Kim Deanne, whose dedication was inspired by her friend Sara Kruzan to combat her plight as a victim of child-sex slavery and subsequently being sentenced as a youth to life in prison with no possibility of parole. In 2012, Free Sara Kruzan is a National Campaign run by three women (Kim Deanne, Jesaka Sekmet and Carrie Christie), whose mission is to raise awareness of Sara’s story, to facilitate her release from prison and to prevent all forms of child-sex slavery. With the aid of international supporters and Sara’s 2007 interview by Human Rights Watch (see: external links), on the last day of 2010, Sara’s sentence was commuted by Governor Schwarzenegger to 25 to life with the possibility of parole. Sara currently resides in an honors dorm in a women’s facility in the State of California. Sara has earned a college degree and has been named Woman of the Year by Correctional Officers. Sara’s final appeal to be released with time served was dated July 19, 2012, yet granted a 60 day extension. On September 18, 2012 Riverside District Attorney Paul Zellerbach will decide whether Sara will be released with time served. The National Campaign to Free Sara Kruzan is currently petitioning, educating and demonstrating for Sara’s immediate release.

info@freesarakruzan.org

www.freesarakruzan.org

www.iamsjk.com

Jesaka Saylove Sekmet is a peace scholar, hip-hop artist, and radio personality. Check her out at Saylove Music.

The Guardian – Rape, abortion and the fight for women’s rights in Turkey A controversial rape case has shown how in this patriarchal country it is always women who pay the price

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/09/reape-abortion-fight-womens-rights-turkey?commentpage=all#start-of-comments

The Guardian home

Rape, abortion and the fight for women’s rights in Turkey

A controversial rape case has shown how in this patriarchal country it is always women who pay the price

In Turkey, outside big cities, social life concentrates on coffee houses, that is, if you are a man. This week, the customers of a coffee house in a village in the Mediterranean region saw a young woman carrying a bloody sack. Inside was a severed head. She hurled the sack towards them and said: “I saved my honour. Do not talk behind my back any more.”

 

The woman was 26-year-old Nevin Yildirim, a mother of two. Her husband had been away working at a seasonal job in another town. In his absence Nurettin Gider, aged 35 and a father of two, had raped her repeatedly, taken photos of her naked, and blackmailed her. She had become pregnant. He had been boasting about his visits to her house to his drinking buddies, and there were people in the village who knew what was going on.

 

She shot him 10 times, stabbed him in the abdomen and cut off his head. She turned herself in, and told the police she would rather die than have the baby. Her seven-year-old daughter was about to start school this autumn. She said she didn’t want anyone to call her children “the whore’s kids”. Instead, they would be seen as “the children of a woman who had cleansed her honour”.

 

The case has caused an uproar in Turkey. Women’s organisations have rallied to her support, her story has received wide coverage in the media, the social media has buzzed with remarks, and an appeal has been made for her to have an abortion. As I write, the court has announced its decision against the appeal. Yildirim turned out to be 29 weeks pregnant, past the legal limit to terminate a pregnancy, which is 10 weeks. In cases where a woman’s health is endangered, abortion can be allowed at up to 20 weeks.

 

The court’s decision sparked a debate with deep moral, social and political implications. Not long ago, members of the government discussed limiting, if not banning, both caesarean section and abortion rights in Turkey. The health minister, Recep Akdag, had said that should any children be born as a result of rape or violence, the government would take care of them. The proposal on abortion was fiercely opposed across society, as a result of which it was shelved. The laws regarding C-section, however, have been changed and the procedure greatly limited.

 

The truth is, recent debates on women’s bodies and reproduction rights have left a bad taste in the mouths of us Turkish women. The suddenness of the proposal and the lack of a genuine, pluralistic debate left many women uncomfortable and worried about the future. Turkish women have enjoyed greater rights than their sisters in other parts of the Muslim world. But all of a sudden, women realised the rights they had taken for granted could one day be taken away.

 

For women in Turkey who are victims of domestic or sexual violence, there are few doors to knock on. There are few women’s shelters, and too often society tends to judge the victim, not the perpetrator. Every year women are killed or forced to commit suicide in the name of honour. In a context as unfair as this, we need politicians who are sensitive to women’s problems and dedicated to solving them. However, unlike other areas of life in Turkey, local and national politics remains stubbornly patriarchal.

 

Yildirim’s baby needs to be treated as a free individual and raised with love and care in a healthy environment where he or she won’t be stigmatised. Yet Turkey is far from there. This is a male-dominated country where codes of honour run deep and it is always women who pay the price – women, and at times their innocent children.

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  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 5:09PM

    Sounds like a good way to deal with rapists to me. I’ve not an ounce of pity for him.

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 5:11PM

    Yildirim’s baby needs to be treated as a free individual

    No, if she wants it aborted, it should be aborted.

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 5:13PM

    What a horrible story.

    My sympathy lies with Nevin (although I can’t support her killing her abuser) but babies can survive at 29 weeks so it is a bit of an ethical minefield.

  • shalone

    9 September 2012 5:13PM

    I know how it is in many Muslim countries and yet feel rather miserable reading the story. In cases where a woman needs 4 pious witnesses to verify a rape, you are not surprised that men get away with murder. Most of honor killings are done at the cost of women’s freedom of choice. Whenever I am in Turkey and see men drinking tea or eating out, wonder where their wives, daughters or mothers are. Probably struck in houses doing daily routines when men go out and have fun. 
    Any body for reformation?

  • LazarusOnceMore

    9 September 2012 5:24PM

    If all the women treated as chattel and inferior in her culture acted likewise, the world would be a much better place.

  • wotever

    9 September 2012 5:28PM

    This is yet another example of why we must not allow this backward, superstitious and misogynistic nation into the European Union.

  • SantaMuerte

    9 September 2012 5:33PM

    Premature babies have survived outside the womb at 21 weeks, all be it with life support. I have major sympathy for this woman’s position but I’m not sure that an abortion at such a late point in the pregnancy would be legal anywhere even in the case of rape. We have jailed people for murder, for the death on unborn before in the case of assault, murder or attempted murder of the mother..
    As KristineKochanski said “ethical minefield”

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 5:35PM

    I don’t know the answer to a dilema like that. I do know there is a dilema as babies can live & frequently do if they are born at 29 weeks, so it is not as simple as you make out.

    Women should have autonomy over their own bodies, but when a fetus reaches the stage where it is capable of existing (assisted) outside the womb then I think it gets more complicated.

  • Juicylicious

    9 September 2012 5:36PM

    Jesus. I feel for this woman. To fall pregnant after a repugnant nightmare which shows no let-up….how she has managed to keep her sanity I do not know. She is stronger than most. What this most depressing of incidents shows however that despite Turkey’s oft-trumpeted stance on ‘moderation’ and ‘democracy’ , it counts for shit in the reality of most people’s lives. But then isn’t that how it is in most countries?

    Even here in Britain, a raped woman might still need to prove that she wasn’t ‘asking for it’ if dressed ‘provocatively’ – although on a hot summer’s day or an evening out, I’m not too sure what ‘provocative’ means. Perhaps George Galloway can help us with that one.

    It’s interesting – in The Spectator an article proposes that women – financially at least – will soon be the more dominant force (the author didn’t state if this would be in the West or throughout the globe), but I dunno. Being able to make a decision based on monetary clout counts for nothing really if some fellas – out of anger or lust – believe that a woman has only one use.

    What good is a fat bank account and a seat on the board if we are still vulnerable to the threat of an erect knob? I don’t think we’re ever going to solve this. If anything I think if women do become more dominant – the chances of rape could become more prevalent – not just in countries like Turkey but everywhere.

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 5:36PM

    Nonsense. If she wants an abortion at 29 weeks than she should be able to. It has nothing to do with us and nothing to do with the Turkish state.

  • RabidlyRational

    9 September 2012 5:41PM

    My sympathy lies with Nevin (although I can’t support her killing her abuser) but babies can survive at 29 weeks so it is a bit of an ethical minefield.

    In a society where a raping abuser so often is given a rap on the knuckles and the female derided for ‘asking for it’, I can support her killing her abuser.

    If she had done that very same deed, exact details, in a Western (superior) Society, where the abuser would have been seriously punished, I would not support her killing her abuser.

    Does that make me a hypocrite??? Or a racist???

    It does make me a ‘Western’ Supremacist. I can accept that with pride.

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 5:43PM

    I don’t know the answer to a dilema like that. I do know there is a dilema as babies can live & frequently do if they are born at 29 weeks, so it is not as simple as you make out.

    You’re right, it’s not uncomplicated. However, a foetus at 29 weeks is incapable of proper thought, whereas a woman is a thinking, feeling, complete human being – therefore her needs and wants should come first. If we don’t allow that then we remove control of a woman’s own body from her which, without any hyperbole, is slavery.

  • scubaM10

    9 September 2012 5:45PM

    <This is yet another example of why we must not allow this backward, superstitious and misogynistic nation into the European Union.>
    Absolutely. One of the good things that might come out of the mess to do with the EURO is that Turkey would be less likely to end up in The EU.
    Of course increasing Islamisation of Turkey will only make matters worse for women.

  • SantaMuerte

    9 September 2012 5:47PM

    @Carrington90
    A 29 week fetus can survive for hours outside the womb without assistance, legally after the abortion limit the unborn has recognised Human Rights. Where would you put the limit, 8 months, 9?
    It is not legal or ethical to abort a 7 month old that could exist ouside the womb..
    Would you be willing to carry out this abortion yourself?

  • joffy

    9 September 2012 5:48PM

    No need for trial.
    She said he raped her. 
    What more do you want?

  • RichJames

    9 September 2012 5:48PM

    For women in Turkey who are victims of domestic or sexual violence, there are few doors to knock on. There are few women’s shelters, and too often society tends to judge the victim, not the perpetrator.

    I think that’s the heart of the problem, really. Taking the law into your own hands is an extreme response – but when the law fails people, and turns victims into pariahs – then I don’t see what choice the woman had. They’re virtually identical problems faced by women in all societies, including Britain: over and over again, women are victims of sexual violence – and little to no recourse is open to them. For Turkey’s politicians not to act upon this, and improve the law, is just another way of leaving victims vulnerable.

  • SantaMuerte

    9 September 2012 5:49PM

    @Jackston
    A baby up to about six months isn’t capable of complex thought, you can’t abort them either..

  • crashingdashingkid

    9 September 2012 5:49PM

    If someone was raping me repeatedly, and people at the local were sniggering about it, I would probably defend myself in a similar way. This lady is a victim, and deserves support for what she has been through.

  • RichJames

    9 September 2012 5:52PM

    If she had done that very same deed, exact details, in a Western (superior) Society

    Then she would probably have been imprisoned for it. In one recent case here in the UK, a woman was raped and exploited repeatedly by her husband – then imprisoned because, under duress, she withdraw her claims. Vera Baird wrote about it. The justice system in Turkey fails women; the justice system in Britain fails women. For people to wax chauvinstically about this is complacent and dangerous for women in the UK, and other European countries, who – likewise – are constantly failed by the law.

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 5:53PM

    Her choices in Turkey would have been extremely limited. As I said I have sympathy with Niven, who wouldn’t, but in general I am not in favour of the taking of life, even if the deceased was a bastard.

    Niven will almost certainly be jailed I imagine & two children will lose their mother. I can’t celebrate that.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 5:57PM

    I don’t think you’re right about that. Babies born rather later, at 24 weeks, 25 have one hell of a struggle, even with advanced technological support. A huge amount of neurological development happens at around 23 weeks.

    Which is why, in Britain, viability is deemed to be 24 weeks.

    My heart breaks for this woman.

  • netscribe

    9 September 2012 5:58PM

    Turkish women have enjoyed greater rights than their sisters in other parts of the Muslim world. But all of a sudden, women realised the rights they had taken for granted could one day be taken away.

    Mrs President wears a headscarf…doesn’t help matters…does it.

  • coffeetable

    9 September 2012 6:03PM

    I have never heard of a woman in a Muslim society killing her abuser before, although no doubt it’s happened. There is something very exhilarating about hearing, for once, of a man paying the price for the rape and abuse he has carried out, rather than being lauded for it while his victim is destroyed. Although frankly I’d rather he was left alive to suffer years of shame and public condemnation from those around him, rather than dead and beyond the reach of justice. In these sick societies, it is high time that women began punishing the men who treat them so grotesquely. Let’s look forward to the day when the men themselves grow enough to have the decency and humanity to punish abusers rather than the abused. Same in the west – happy the day when all men unequivocally condemn rape, rather than endlessly quibbling about what’s ‘real’ rape, providing each other with get-out clauses and accusing victims of ‘asking for it’.

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 6:05PM

    I understand that. Of course she does not want to give birth as a consequence of being raped. But if we say that viable children can be aborted then where does that end? I think that the consensus which largely exists in Britain (with the exception of NI which nobody ever talks about), that abortion is permissable without having to jump through hoops is on the understanding that aborted fetuses could not live outside the womb.

    If we are looking at Turkey then I think aborting at 29 weeks would assist the people who want to take away abortion rights & they would use it as emotional blackmail – killing babies etc.

  • SantaMuerte

    9 September 2012 6:06PM

    @snowcat3
    There have been documented cases of survival at 21 weeks, although it is very rare.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 6:10PM

    I hear what you are saying, but am concerned that in all your posts here, the concern is over and over again for the foetus. Only one fleeting mention of the woman who was repeatedly raped, and blackmailed, while the locals (including, I presume, police-officers) knew all about what that creep was doing and did absolutely nothing about it.

    There’s a foetus involved here, granted. And a traumatized woman who has had her autonomy completely (and repeatedly) violated.

    This is what I find so deeply worrying about the so-called pro-life position. What about the woman’s life?

  • coffeetable

    9 September 2012 6:10PM

    I find this an extremely strange remark, for various reasons:

    in general I am not in favour of the taking of life, even if the deceased was a bastard.

    Leaving most of them aside, let’s look at the revolting concept of the ‘bastard’ child. This is a child that has been carried for nine months in the womb of a woman, born, nurtured by said woman, and because a man hasn’t married the woman, the child is deemed ‘illegitimate’. This idea is the ultimate victory of the patriarchy – that the whole effort of a woman in producing and loving a child is illegitimate if a man hasn’t sanctioned it. Please, never use the word or the idea again.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 6:12PM

    It must be extremely rare.

    Have you had any contact with such children? They are very badly brain-damaged, dependent on people for their most basic needs and, in many cases, have to be permanently connected to an oxygen supply because they can’t breathe on their own. Life? No, that is a travesty of life.

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 6:15PM

    Bastard is not generally used to denote illegitimacy in 2012 as many people including myself have children without the blessing of wedlock.

    However if you find it offensive then delete bastard & replace with whatever derogatory term you find acceptable.

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 6:18PM

    Babies born at 29 weeks are not all that rare & they are not all brain damaged or dependent when they get older. This is the dilema which exists. At 29 weeks, more now, there is an argument that the fetus has rights, no matter the means of conception.

  • Metin Aksoy

    9 September 2012 6:20PM

    Human Rights Watch estimated that over two hundred thousand people are raped in American prison every year; each survivor is raped, on average, three to five times over the course of a year, which means that approximately eight hundred thousand rapes occur in the criminal justice system every year. This is a human rights crisis.I wonder what is the public opinion about raped men in America?

  • CruiskeenLawn

    9 September 2012 6:34PM

    Elif, I am sorry but this article is almost identical to one you wrote about eight weeks ago.

    I actually don’t need to be repeatedly fed with the same information.

    Not saying they are a bad article, though some of the obvious realities are ignored, nor am I saying that you are unique among Guardian correspondents for hiccuping on occassion.

    But spare me the shock element.

  • chokatlate

    9 September 2012 6:35PM

    Metin Aksoy,

    I don’t know public opinion but as a member of the public: I think it is horrible and I am under the impression that this is an issue (not only where American prisons are concerned) that, like voices of male rape victims in general, is marginalised in discussions about rape.

    BUT

    Rape in American prisons is not the topic of the article and it is perfectly legitimate for the author to highlight the fate of rape victims in Turkey. So, maybe for now, let’s focus on this topic and anything you might have to contribute to it. Anything else is inappropriate whataboutery – two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Personally, my thoughts go out to Nevin – I hope she will receive justice, i.e. the courts will consider mitigating circumstances – but also her children and the wife and children of the murdered rapist, they too will be going through hell right now.

  • coffeetable

    9 September 2012 6:36PM

    Bastard is not generally used to denote illegitimacy in 2012 as many people including myself have children without the blessing of wedlock.

    Well, what did you mean when you used the term to describe the child, then?

    However if you find it offensive then delete bastard & replace with whatever derogatory term you find acceptable.

    Read my post properly – I was objecting to using any derogatory terms to describe a child whose parents aren’t married

  • noimnelson

    9 September 2012 6:36PM

    Mr President Abdullah Gul’s wife was 16 years and 2 days old when he married her. He was 30 at that time. Apparently she is also his cousin.

    Both she and the Prime Minister’s wife wear headscarves.

  • gerryzekali

    9 September 2012 6:38PM

    As Im sure Elif Şafak would agree – The AK party has been slowly eroding womens rights for the last decade, including such revolting ideas as telling the public they can promise their daughters to unknown men from the age of 9, and attempting to illegalise pre-maritalsex and infidelity – neither of which were passed into law thank god. The AK party ihas also hugely damaged democracy through its imprisonment without trial of hundreds of people, including many journalists and retired members of the armed forces on extremely flimsy evidence – a lot of which is not allowed to be made public for reasons of ”national security” (sound familiar??) they have every intention to bring in a form of Sharia Law – but very very slowly – this is a project that will cover 30-50 years, if they are allowed to remain in power. Surprising then that Ms Şafak chose to marry a well-known conservative, isnt it? I doubt she is really someone most Turkish women would want to speak for them…………………………..

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 6:39PM

    Many of them do have significant disability. I was talking primarily of earlier than 29 weeks, though.

    I know that argument full well, that the foetus has rights. I also believe along with many other people that a pregnant woman is not just a container, a means to an end.

    If you insist on a foetus’s rights, you are diminishing the rights of the mother. Because, pre-birth, no-one else can provide sustenance. Something has to give.

    This is an article detailing horrific abuse of a woman. Abuse that others knew about. Yet here again we have this so-called pro-life obsession with the human rights of a foetus. Your concerns are skewed. And how tiresome that this is what is always wheeled out in response to article like this. Not “How to teach men respect for women”, not “How to educate the police and other professionals to the plight of raped women” just, “But what about the foetus?”

  • jabral

    9 September 2012 6:43PM

    I fully endorse the punishment that the rapist met at the end and it should be an example for other rapists to warned about.

    But, how was it that this sordid man raped her for long and why did she wait for so long for the rapes to go on? Was there any encouragement or consent on the part of the victim that she got fed from the taunts and slurs of the people around her that instigated her killing the rapist?

    Now that she has redeemed herself and proved her honour, I hope she is not sentenced harshly, and let it be a lesson for other rapists. I am sure that if many women victim of rapes would inflict this kind of punishment on the rapist, this crime could reduce ten folds.

  • chokatlate

    9 September 2012 6:44PM

    English rape is much worse than turkish rape.

    This is distasteful. Especially as nobody said anything like that.

    crashingdashingkid merely pointed out that rape is not limited to Muslim cultures and, hence, Islam is not under discussion here nor, for the record, is Turkey’s admission into the EU. Frankly, its disgusting how some people hijack any threat, however sensible the topic, to promote their pet peeve – Islamophobia or otherwise.

    The topic here is rape and the lack of support for rape victims in Turkey. – Any suggestions of how to support them?

  • ibneadam

    9 September 2012 6:46PM

    ” He had been boasting about his visits to her house to his drinking buddies, and there were people in the village who knew what was going on.”

    His “drinking buddies” and “the people of the village” are equally guilty of this crime. They all need to be shamed, and made an example. Who knows how many moreNurettin Gider are out there.

  • netscribe

    9 September 2012 6:49PM

    crashingdashingkid merely pointed out that rape is not limited to Muslim cultures

    Yeah right, so the next time there is a rape case in the English criminal court we’ll count on you to remind people that rape occurs in Muslim countries too…in the interests of balance of course.

  • netscribe

    9 September 2012 6:53PM

    Mr President Abdullah Gul’s wife was 16 years and 2 days old when he married her. He was 30 at that time. Apparently she is also his cousin. Both she and the Prime Minister’s wife wear headscarves.

    Thanks noimnelson I’m we all find that very reassuring.

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 6:53PM

    I never been able to understand the moral quagmire of people who believe that abortion at, say, 20 weeks is okay, but at 30 weeks then it is an unspeakable abomination. As if the ability for a foetus to ‘survive for hours’ somehow makes it a radically different being than it was a couple of months earlier.

    If you don’t believe in abortion than don’t – full stop. But the idea that you can support abortion on the grounds that it isn’t ‘human enough yet so it’s okay’ is, frankly, silliness.

    It is not legal or ethical…

    Laws change. As for ‘ethical’ – whose ethics? Yours? Society’s? God’s?

    I’m not an abortion doctor. And yet, I don’t believe women should have to use ‘backstreet’ abortions, thus endangering their own lives.

  • Zadeee

    9 September 2012 6:54PM

    If someone had a kidney disease and needed a transplant, no one could legally force me to give up my kidney to this person. Right?

    So why would it be ok to force me to support the life of a fetus with my body?

    In my opinion that’s the only argument needed in this debate about abortion, at least in terms of the law.

    My sympathies go to Nevin in any case, even if she hadn’t gotten pregnant. What she did to her abuser was terrible, but what was done to her and how no one in her home town seemed to care is even more so.

  • umbungoumbungo

    9 September 2012 6:59PM

    However, a foetus at 29 weeks is incapable of proper thought, whereas a woman is a thinking, feeling, complete human being

    My daughter was recently born prematurely at less than 31 weeks. She is a beautiful and complete human being. Although I know your comment comes from a good place of compassion for the horribly abused woman in this awful story I still find it deeply offensive.

  • loveisnice

    9 September 2012 7:00PM

    Anyone here who thinks the woman didnt commit murder or manslaughter needs to have their heads examined

  • ElisabethArdent

    9 September 2012 7:00PM

    The court made the right decision: 29 weeks is a full born child. No question that it would be murder. And I am 100 pro free abortion rights.

    That said: what a woman! She made the right decision too. I hope from my heart that she will be acquitted of the killing in court.

    Mind you, what happened to her, happens to women all over he world.

  • jack55

    9 September 2012 7:01PM

    Don’t forget, he said he was raping her too

    Did he? Or just that he was sleeping with her while her husband was away? And then she became pregnant, realised that she couldn’t pass off the baby as her husband’s and so accused him of rape? And realised that no-one would believe her, unless she did something extreme?

    Just because it’s a Muslim country doesn’t mean that the man is automatically in the wrong. It’s telling that the subheading calls it a “rape case” rather than a “rape-homicide case”.

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 7:01PM

    With respect I don’t think my concerns are skewed.

    I am concerned, as are I think the majority of people, over the rights of the child. They do get them as far as I am concerned when they have a viable life. In Britain that is 24 weeks. Because that is my view I am very much in favour of sex education, access to contraception, & access to abortion without any fuss.

    That is not particularly relevant in this case as the woman concerned was a victim of rape, she was not having consensual sex. In this instance I think Turkey needs to look at provision of support for abused women, but I have no confidence at all that they will do that. Outside Istanbul Turkey is a pretty backwards country, which is why I have always been surprised that so many people go there on holiday, which is an implied approval of the way that things are run.

  • jack55

    9 September 2012 7:02PM

    If someone had a kidney disease and needed a transplant, no one could legally force me to give up my kidney to this person. Right?

    So why would it be ok to force me to support the life of a fetus with my body?

    But if you refused to carry a wounded person down a mountain, because it wasn’t convenient for you at this point in your life?

  • mike944

    9 September 2012 7:02PM

    Sounds like a good way to deal with rapists to me. I’ve not an ounce of pity for him

    Was it rape or an afair? We’ll never know because the woman took it upon herselfe to be judge dury and executioner.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 7:02PM

    I don’t play guessing games.

    But I infer that you mean: she wasn’t “really” raped. In my own experience of the world, a woman who has been enjoying a consensual sexual relationship does not just one day shoot the man 10 times before cutting his head off.

    Your attitudes are disgusting. Just because certain male politicians of the loudmouth variety share them does not make them any less disgusting.

  • AtaBrit

    9 September 2012 7:03PM

    @gerryzekali – correct. Safak’s marriage to the Gulen blok belies her words. Women in Turkey, educated women in Turkey have no time for her whatsoever. Feminists despise her. She is not an accepted voice of women here, though she is trying to paint herself as that in the UK – she’s trying to forge her place in London society. It’s that simple, that shallow and that repugnant, given the means employed.

    — Shafak does the women’s rights movement a great dis-service by insisting always that abuse of women occurs ‘elsewhere’ – never in ‘modern’ places such as Istanbul, Ankara. The statistics simply do not support this insistence – but then she is of the AKP ilk – truth belongs to the bullies who shout loudest having suffocated all opposing voices! 
    — Shafak NEVER mentions the gross, gross mishandling, or to my mind, intentional mishandling of domestic abuse cases. Women who approach the police are nearly always returned to their husband or to their husband’s family. Why does AKP not broach this issue? The police are doing the job of AKP and Gulen, don’t ever doubt it!
    — Shafak NEVER uses statistics and research to add weight to her articles. They are ‘gossip’ column grade articles at best. Yet, who the hell would allow such whimsical writing about such abuses in the UK? 
    — Shafak is, as are all AKP ‘voices’ always trying to sweet talk with insipid, emotional, feigned-liberal sentiment. Yet their real agenda is far, far more abhorent that anything mentioned in the article. Just look at the bloodthirsty callousness with which AKP is treating the Kurdish population! Oh, you can’t, it’s NOT reported in the UK! Yet in a previous article Shafak made very clear that she thought abuse against women was an ‘eastern’ issue – a kurdish issue. Aha … now we see how she adds to the demonisation of the Kurds! 
    — The Guardian has a duty to AT THE VERY LEAST produce another article which is properly researched by a proper journalist with good and solid contacts in Turkey. There is no doubt that such an article would place this, the piece of drivel above, firmly in the realm of emotionally-charged political and societal gambol by an overly ambitious and under-talented writer by the name of Elif Shafak. 
    — Repeat. She does not represent and is not representative of Turkish women. She does not stand up to be counted here in Turkey. She will, I’m sure, continue to play the right liberal cards for her own selfish gains in London. Long may she remain elsewhere!

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 7:05PM

    My daughter was recently born prematurely at less than 31 weeks. She is a beautiful and complete human being. Although I know your comment comes from a good place of compassion for the horribly abused woman in this awful story I still find it deeply offensive.

    I’m sure your daughter is beautiful, precious, and you love her completely. However, she does not possess the same value or rights as, for example, your wife – who is capable of rational thought, empathy, and intelligence in a way your child cannot yet.
    The law recognises this to an extent too – their is a law against infanticide that is different to murder or manslaughter.

    I’m absolutely not saying that a 30 week foetus has no rights or value – just that the rights and value it has is less than that of an adult woman.

  • mike944

    9 September 2012 7:07PM

    Even at 29 weeks it’s not a sentient, thinking, creature – she shouldn’t have to carry it a second longer than she wants to

    At what point do you believe a baby becomes a sentient, thinking, creature?

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 7:08PM

    I quite agree.

    Her life, her sanity, her wellbeing, all these should be paramount.

    But in the so-called pro-life arguments, they aren’t. She disappears. Her only value, it would appear, is as walking life support system.

    And now I notice, we’re getting the rape apologists on here too, suggesting that she was having an AFFAIR with the man. Please. ..

  • ElisabethArdent

    9 September 2012 7:09PM

    And to be fair, a child of 29 weeks, probably 32 bwfore the ‘abortion, is a full grown child. It is not a fetus antmore. they will have to kill it if they want to ‘abort’ it. Abortion is out of the question. Lungs, brains and bowls will work just fine by then.

  • mike944

    9 September 2012 7:10PM

    And now I notice, we’re getting the rape apologists on here too, suggesting that she was having an AFFAIR with the man. Please. ..

    And what exactly do you know about the case the convinces you that it was rape and not an affair?

  • umbungoumbungo

    9 September 2012 7:12PM

    I’m sure your daughter is beautiful, precious, and you love her completely. However, she does not possess the same value or rights as, for example, your wife – who is capable of rational thought, empathy, and intelligence in a way your child cannot yet.

    Call me simplistic but I think a person is a person and consider my wife and daughter to be of equal value.

    What about adults who are mentally handicapped, do you believe that they also of inherently lesser value?

  • Arapas

    9 September 2012 7:13PM

    This week, the customers of a coffee house in a village in the Mediterranean region saw a young woman carrying a bloody sack. Inside was a severed head.

     

    I read this a few days ago in Hurriet. The woman in question followed the Turkish tradition of decapitation, nothing sinister in that.

    a father of two, had raped her repeatedly, taken photos of her naked, and blackmailed her. She had become pregnant.

    Well, he got more than he bargained for.

    She shot him 10 times, stabbed him in the abdomen and cut off his head.

    She used excessive force, not to mention, that she took the law into her own hands.

    For women in Turkey who are victims of domestic or sexual violence,there are few doors to knock on.

    This is one of the reasons why Turkey is not ready to join Europe.
    The internal problems accumulate if one was to throw into the mix Cyprus and other neighbouring countries, where Turkey has violated human rights, and committed atrocities and genocides.

  • gambitman1

    9 September 2012 7:13PM

    Seems like the scumbag got off lightly – she should have cut his balls off as well

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 7:14PM

    Don’t you dare imply that giving birth to this child is not CONVENIENT for this woman. She has been repeatedly raped and you talk of convenience/inconvenience.

    Have you ever supported a woman through a pregnancy and then through a difficult birth? Both those are way more stressful and laden with risk than helping an injured person off a mountain, believe me. That’s when the child is wanted, not a result of rape, etc. However healthy the circumstances. .

    This woman is traumatized and, from the account above, suicidal. She’s had very little support, the police have badly let her down, she’s been talked about and jeered at. And yet your insinuation is, she would somehow be showing a lack of moral fibre for not carrying this pregnancy to term? You’re showing a serious lack of empathy there.

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 7:15PM

    It would be difficult to do self defence considering she decapitated him!

    I would also just repeat… ”I never been able to understand the moral quagmire of people who believe that abortion at, say, 20 weeks is okay, but at 30 weeks then it is an unspeakable abomination. As if the ability for a foetus to ‘survive for hours’ somehow makes it a radically different being than it was a couple of months earlier.”

    Also, if the woman had an ‘backstreet’ abortion do you think she should be tried for murder?

  • horemheb

    9 September 2012 7:15PM

    Its quite sad to read this, i cannot imagine that Turkey will ever be ready to join the EU if this medievil prejudice against Women is allowed to continue.

  • Arapas

    9 September 2012 7:19PM

    Call me simplistic but I think a person is a person and consider my wife and daughter to be of equal value.

    As human beings they should be of equal value.
    There is a big BUT here though.
    Your daughter is related to you. She has your genes. Your blood.
    But out wives are not related to us.
    If they were, we would not be sleeping with them.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 7:26PM

    Given the prevailing attitudes to rape victims in Turkey (detailed in the article), she’d probably be very reluctant to report it. So that she could have even more men sneering in her face?

    The fact is, it was known in her community that this man was raping her. He showed off about it, discussed it down the pub. Police officers in that community were almost certainly aware of what was going on. . .yet they didn’t intervene.

    I can’t decide whether you are really don’t understand or whether you are being deliberately obtuse because you somehow (incredibly) feel sympathy for the rapist. Either way, it’s not good.

  • Arapas

    9 September 2012 7:27PM

    Outside Istanbul

    Turkey is a pretty backwards country,

    which is why I have always been surprised that so many people go there on holiday, which is an implied approval of the way that things are run.

     

    I read the Turkish press occasionally.
    Yes, I agree, Turkey is a backward country. And it will remain so for many years to come. You cannot possibly turn round a country of 85 million in a year.

    As for the tourism, 3 million Russians visited Turkey last year, and 98 of them returned in coffins.
    Gastroenteritis is a Major problem in Turkey.
    Sorry, I got no statistics for British visitors.

  • mike944

    9 September 2012 7:31PM

    Have happy relationships with women, do you?

    Your arguments are beyond pathetic.

    You seem quick to condemn a man who was brutally murdered without an opportunity to defend himself. On what basis do you believe he is guilty? Why do you find it hard to believe that the woman may be lying?

  • Arapas

    9 September 2012 7:32PM

    And what exactly do you know about the case the convinces you that it was rape and not an affair?

    This is what I hate sometimes here in the CIF.
    People like you make silly comments, without shame whatsoever.

    This story has been making the headlines in the Turkish press for days now.
    Little bit of research saves a lot of embarrassment.

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 7:34PM

    What about adults who are mentally handicapped, do you believe that they also of inherently lesser value?

    In the main, no, because generally a mental handicap doesn’t prevent thought, feelings etc. In cases of extreme mental handicap (where the person has literally no awareness of the outside world – effectively a vegetative state), then I’d say that yes they do have less rights and value than other people. Again, the law follows this too, for example, when deciding where to apply health resources quality of life is considered, so all things being equal a donor kidney, for example, would be given to a normal healthy adult over a severely mentally handicapped one.
    This may not be entirely PC, but it is entirely logical, and moral.

    I think a person is a person and consider my wife and daughter to be of equal value.

    And if your wife had wanted an abortion at 29 weeks? I know I’d back my partner in that situation.

  • Elihphile

    9 September 2012 7:34PM

    “I understand that. Of course she does not want to give birth as a consequence of being raped.”

    At 29 weeks she’s going to have to give birth, one way or another, whether the baby’s alive or dead. If continuing to be pregnant is going to destroy her mental health, I think there’s a good case for delivering the baby early, in whichever way she feels is easiest to cope with, on the grounds that we would do the same for a comparable risk to her physical health, and I think the two should be treated equally. By 30 weeks, while babies born at that gestation will need significant support in the short term, the long term prognosis is excellent.

    On a broader level I think the “viability” aspect of the abortion debate is a complete red herring. Nothing metaphysically changes at that point. The only reason the debate in this country has been hustled into that straight jacket is to minimise our cognitive dissonance at the inherent moral contradictions involved. The key impetus behind abortion is to avoid the emotional and physical burdens of the continued relationship with the child, once it’s born. This is the same reason, incidentally, that people kill other people in a whole range of situations, but as a society, we don’t permit or condone it, and so the argument in favour of abortion tends to be limited to preserving the physical autonomy, lost in pregnancy. Once the foetus is viable (which is the case from about 22 weeks), as I’ve pointed out above, the pregnancy can, in theory, be ended, maintaining the mother’s physical autonomy, while keeping the baby alive. Thus an abortion at this stage isn’t just the mother “controlling her own body” or “not being forced to give birth,” it’s unavoidably,, a deliberate decision to kill the foetus. Hence why the limit tends to be (ostensibly) set at this stage.

    And yet we don’t allow women in this country to demand instant delivery at any point post 24-weeks, for any reason, as we would if we were being consistent with our stated principle of absolute bodily autonomy. There are a number of reasons for this. First of all we’re an artillery rather than an infantry culture, we don’t like to see what we do. We don’t want to see babies suffering in NICU orpeople potentially walking about amongst us, permanently disabled because their mother decided to have them delivered at 25 weeks. A further reason, significantly, is the astronomical medical costs that would be involved with providing the medical care that the babies delivered in this way would be ethically required to be provided, in the same way as any other baby born prematurely. And the overarching reason is that we don’t ultimately have absolute positive bodily autonomy because everything we might do is essentially done “with our bodies.” We have the absolute, or near absolute, right to negative bodily autonomy, i.e. the right not to have our bodies interfered with by an external actor. But pregnancy isn’t an external interference with our bodies, it’s a natural process that will ultimately progress to completion unless stopped by an external intervention which can be withheld for a whole host of reasons be they financial or ethical.

    This ultimately undermines the case for abortion at earlier gestations and so the debate continues in a never-ending philosophical and ethical muddle.

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 7:42PM

    I’ve never been able to accept that argument. To me it simply does not matter, just because a foetus at 20 weeks is still entirely dependant on the mother means nothing because we know that a few weeks later it won’t be. The idea that there is a switch at say 24 weeks which means it is a human being afterwards and just a bit of biology beforehand is wrong.

    Abortion is an inherently immoral act. You are destroying, killing, eradicating, terminating or murdering an foetus and it is being done because of medical concerns or a belief by the mother/parents that it would have a unacceptable upbringing. It is done under the belief that it is for the greater good. In the same way war is. The desire for women to have total control over their reproductive systems is paramount. And I agree with that.

    The idea that before 24 weeks it is not very human therefore we can legally kill it is wrong. You either believe in abortion entire or your don’t.

  • pacmanistanbul

    9 September 2012 7:44PM

    A very sad case although Nurettin Gider without standing trial will not be able to be convicted as a rapist or be able to testify. I’m sure that this has devastated his family as well.

    If this event had happened in any European country then Nevin would have been imprisoned in exactly the same way and also refused an abortion. 29 weeks is unfortunately too late.

    There was a high rate of caesarean deliveries way above the European average in Turkey. Unfortunately there is a two-tier system of health care and doctors (mostly men) in private hospitals especially put pressure on women to have c-section so that the doctor doesn’t have to go out late at night or get up early in the morning.

    When it comes to abortion this is another one of Erdogan’s master moves to deflect criticism and distract attention from domestic issues.This focus on abortion happened at a time when the Turkish Air force aided by Israeli/American intelligence had bombed and killed Kurdish petrol smugglers including children in the Uludere incident. He whips up everyone into such a frenzy and the media happily play along with his game.

    There is a much bigger game being played and the next plan is to change the constitution bringing rights for pious Muslims at the expense of other members of society.

    Again another piece by Elif chosen from the popular press and retrospectively linked to government policy. I’d like to see a critique written by her about current efforts to change the constitution rather than ‘after the horse has bolted’.

  • MotherShipton

    9 September 2012 7:47PM

    What a poor poor women, I am so sorry for what she has gone through.

    This is not the fault of the innocent child, however. No-one has the right to visit the sins of the father on the unborn child.

  • bigredroo

    9 September 2012 7:52PM

    Once the foetus is viable (which is the case from about 22 weeks), as I’ve pointed out above, the pregnancy can, in theory, be ended, maintaining the mother’s physical autonomy, while keeping the baby alive. Thus an abortion at this stage isn’t just the mother “controlling her own body” or “not being forced to give birth,” it’s unavoidably,, a deliberate decision to kill the foetus. Hence why the limit tends to be (ostensibly) set at this stage.

    I want time to digest your argument, but meanwhile I would like to point out that a foetus is not viable at 22 weeks. With extreme medical intervention, a foetus that is either delivered, or prematurely born at 22 weeks, would not be able to sustain life, and more commonly than not, dies.

    But pregnancy isn’t an external interference with our bodies, it’s a natural process that will ultimately progress to completion unless stopped by an external intervention which can be withheld for a whole host of reasons be they financial or ethical.

    Again, this is not borne out by statistics. Most pregnancies do not, contrary to the concept of natural progression, make it through to full gestation. This is borne out by the huge increase in miscarriage figures, which show a steady increase in the number of miscarriages over time. Whether this is due to our ability to detect pregnancies at an earlier stage, or some external factor (and I favour the former) it shows that pregnancy is not the “natural process that will ultimately lead to completion unless stopped by intervention”.

    Moreover, in cases such as violent rape, it must surely, always be a woman’s right to choose?

  • umbungoumbungo

    9 September 2012 7:55PM

    Personally I think anything after about 24 weeks is highly questionable, although I’m not saying that I think you are barbaric for suggesting that 29 weeks should be acceptable. This situation in this particular story is very sad and specific but I do still feel that the child has the right to live. And no, in other circumstances, I couldn’t support anybody who said they wanted an abortion at 29 weeks.

    We were in a premature ward when my daughter was born and I saw babies as young as 27 weeks. They were babies. They were people. The pro-choice argument often revolves around the image of an early fetus as a collection of cells and not a human. I agree with that argument. These 27 week old babies, however, were unmistakable humans.

  • mike944

    9 September 2012 8:03PM

    This story has been making the headlines in the Turkish press for days now.
    Little bit of research saves a lot of embarrassment.

    Ahh right. It has been in the newspapers that she claims he raped her. It must be true then. In that case cutting his head off was totally the right thing to do.

  • AtaBrit

    9 September 2012 8:04PM

    If nothing else Elif and the Guardian show us once again that comment is indeed free, cheap and easy.

  • bigredroo

    9 September 2012 8:06PM

    I throw my hands in the air when comments such as “how do you know she was raped’ appear. Or, “abortion is inherently wrong and the foetus has rights”. Surely, the point of this article is that the woman, not a foetus, not the man, the WOMAN, felt her position was such, she HAD to take matters into her own hands. it is the slow drip drip corrosion of womens rights in the country that this article wants to debate?

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 8:11PM

    At what point do you believe a baby becomes a sentient, thinking, creature?

    Gradually (albeit quite swiftly) and it varies. Rule of thumb – when you’d instinctively start to call it a ‘child’ or ‘toddler’ rather than a ‘baby’ – far from clear cut though I grant you. No one considers these issues ethically uncomplicated.

  • mike944

    9 September 2012 8:14PM

    Rule of thumb – when you’d instinctively start to call it a ‘child’ or ‘toddler’ rather than a ‘baby’

    So what exactly are you saying? It is ok to kill babies but not a child or a toddler?

  • Tedaka

    9 September 2012 8:14PM

    Turkey is getting worse for women. In the late eighties it was common to see women in the latest fashions, dyed blonde hair, make up and even enjoying a few alcoholic drinks and cigarettes with their husbands. This is exceptionally rare nowadays. A whole nasty aggressive male generation has been poisoned the country.

  • centerlane

    9 September 2012 8:19PM

    Turkey will seem progressive on the issue of rape and abortion if Romney/Ryan gets elected. This first century view of women rights is where the US is headed if we continue to only show our outrage after the fact.

  • brenzone

    9 September 2012 8:19PM

    You’ve still got males dominating almost all aspects of society in Turkey and most of them are very weak, hypocritical idiots. They go about treating and regarding women as whores yet seem to want their wives to be untouched by man or jinni. Pah! And this country has the effrontery to want to join the EU! Well, they’d jolly well better get their act together first. They need women in the presidency, as prime minister and as minister of finance for starters …

  • AtaBrit

    9 September 2012 8:21PM

    @Arapas – It seems to me that Erdogan has no plans to join the EU, he simply has not grown the balls to be honest with the Turkish public on this matter. Two years ago, had he still been serious about joining the EU he simply would not have opened so many borders and done away with visa restrictions for so many countries. No. He has no desire to join the EU. He uses it to ‘play’ the middle classes in Turkey and ‘rile’ the Europeans. You mustn’t forget, that he and AKP are masters of sugar-tounged deception – they are liars through and through; beyond the ‘gameliness’ of most politics, they represent serious contempt for all. You need only look at the pathetically tragic Mavi Marmara farse; the far more diabolical duplicity in the Syrian crisis. Thankfully, Turks are beginning to understand this.

  • Persianwar

    9 September 2012 8:21PM

    No, if she wants it aborted, it should be aborted.

    The foetus is 29 weeks old. It is therefore capable of independent life. To kill it at this stage is murder.

    In circumstances like this, the pro-choice argument (which I support) goes beyond being pro-choice and becomes pro-abortion.

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 8:22PM

    So what exactly are you saying? It is ok to kill babies but not a child or a toddler?

    No (and I think you know that). I’m saying that the rights and value of an adult woman exceeds that of a foetus, no matter what week of gestation.

  • Heather Nic An Fhleisdeir

    9 September 2012 8:23PM

    This story brings home how much the United States is looking like Turkey.

    What happens now is subject to the fate of the current laws and attitudes.

    What happens after that is subject to people of conscience distinguishing right from wrong to make RAPE an assault crime with severe enough penalties to deter most from doing it in the first place. Then for courts to bring down those penalties, such as castration, to let would-be RAPISTS know what to expect. And to enact laws against harboring criminals and not coming forward with their secrets to encourage people to turn RAPISTS into the police, and for police to take this seriously lest they be prosecuted for protecting a RAPIST.

    This is not socially acceptable behavior and should not be tolerated by the law or by society.

  • SamuelTaylor

    9 September 2012 8:28PM

    Well in that case it would be perfectly legal to kill children until they were well into double figures it a person only has worth if they can express rational thought, empathy and intelligence. Each life has an equal value, it isn’t something you earn as you age.

  • Metin Aksoy

    9 September 2012 8:28PM

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by ourcommunity standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.

  • JacketPotato

    9 September 2012 8:29PM

    This is what happens when religion takes over in society…. Even in the USA women’s rights could be trampled on at any moment.

  • antigori

    9 September 2012 8:30PM

    Shame that The Turkey founded by Kemal Ataturk has been reduced to this. Kemal granted full political rights to women in 1934 well before several other European nations. Ataturk strongly believed against the disenfranchisement of women. Now the Islamist regime is overturning everything that the nation of Turkey was founded on. 8 million lost souls later just to satisfy the phallocratic whims of its religious leadership.

  • AtaBrit

    9 September 2012 8:33PM

    @pacmanistanbul – I fully agree, but given the gravity of the article’s content I think you are far too light in your condemnation of Shafak. IF, that’s the biggest IF ever, she really cares about the abuse of women in Turkey, she should surely start with ACTIVISM in Turkey. Her name is known – for good or bad reasons, doesn’t matter. She could use her ill-gained celebrity, or her very close relations with AKP/ Gulen at home and in the US to bring the topic to every home in Turkey. SHE DOES NOT! So, she deserves no attention whatsoever. Again, I challenge the Guardian to publish another, objective, informed piece! It will not. The only CiF articles it publishes about Turkey are by AKP politicians or their molls. The only non-CiF articles it publishes are based on agency-feeds. Congratulations to the Guardian for having taken AKP’s threats seriously (e.g. AKP INSIST that every Western news agency use the term ‘terrorist organisation’ when talking about PKK. Read about the Reuters case and you’ll understand.

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 8:39PM

    Well in that case it would be perfectly legal to kill children until they were well into double figures it a person only has worth if they can express rational thought, empathy and intelligence.

    No, people are capable of expressing thought, empathy and intelligence by the time they’re 2. I’m not saying that they have no value before that, but that the value of adults exceeds theirs.
    Note that the law also differentiates – infanticide is different from manslaughter and murder.

  • ahmetepic

    9 September 2012 8:48PM

    Wrong. There’re no Sharia laws in Turkey. So, there is no need for ‘4 pious witnesses and all that’. Honor killings carry life sentence, 15 years of it in solitary confinement. Women are not stuck in houses at all. They’re as active as men in all venues of social life. You do need a reality check…

  • SamuelTaylor

    9 September 2012 8:48PM

    I wonder if there are procedures in place which mean a married woman needs the presence/permission of her husband to be able to have an abortion, it is the only rational explanation for her not having an abortion within the legal limits.

    If she was subjected to repeated rape I do hope her little one wasn’t present, even though sadly if she was it might help her mothers legal standing.

    I wonder what the situation is in Turkey when a woman reports a rape, as sadly the actions she has taken removes any proof of rape, even in circumstances where the accused is alive and it is known where he/she lives proving guilt is extremely difficult. The reporting system, support system and court handling of rape is extremely lacking in Britain, so I doubt it is very good in Turkey.

  • AnEmptyHourglass

    9 September 2012 8:52PM

    I read this story, and my first reaction was “wow”.

    I for one wholeheartedly approve of what she did. I’m a big believer in self defence and it’s a perfectly reasonable response in these circumstances. I would hope she would be acquitted (though presume the odds are against her).

    Furthermore I think she ought to be allowed to abort – at any stage of development. I do not agree with abortion in cases where a woman consented to put herself in the situation of becoming pregnant, even if the pregnancy is her mistake and not her intention (I personally think woman who use abortion as birth control ought to be sterilised instead). But in this case I do not see how the woman is the killer of the unborn child – she is merely refusing a rapist the use of her body to support his child. He was a key participant – indeed the only person who chose to create the child in the first place. Therefore if he created a child in an environment where it would be killed, that blame should be laid with him, not with the victim.

    In any event, aborting it would help reduce the expression of any genetic tendency towards rape as a viable means of reproduction.

  • SamuelTaylor

    9 September 2012 8:57PM

    Only if the person murdering their child is the child’s mother and suffering from an imaginary mental illness (and in turn making services for those with genuine mental health problems even worse), yes, the law is wrong, just because some old man in a wig thinks murdering your children is fine, doesn’t mean it is fine. Anyone who supports the separate charge of infanticide is truly disgusting and shouldn’t be able to have children as they clearly think killing a baby is acceptable.

    The value of an adult does not exceed a child, everyone on this planet has an equal value.

  • SamuelTaylor

    9 September 2012 9:04PM

    1. There is no genetic tendency to rape, its best not to invent things and express them in public.

    2. So, say you had a wife or girlfriend (sorry, I don’t know if you’re a man or a woman) and that child was the result of a rape then surely you would also support her to murder that children when they were say, three? Or if you found out you were a result of rape you would kill yourself?

    3. Some women trick men into getting them pregnant, so should those men be able to force that woman to have an abortion?

    4. A child born to a couple is no different to a child born as a result of rape, children don’t have different worth or a different right life than another. There is no legitimate reason to kill a baby.

    5. A child conceived during rape is not a child who is conceived in an environment where it will be killed, the only children conceived to be killed are those who are killed by their mothers (and within the legal abortion time frame).

  • ahmetepic

    9 September 2012 9:05PM

    There are new developments in Nevin’s case. It looks though her defence will argue for an insanity case. If her insanity is determined by the court, she will probably en up going to a mental health institution. Many women all over the country have formed supports groups for her. Since she doesn’t want the baby at all accounts, plenty of childless parents have came forward who wish to adopt the child. Since May 2012 the new Turkish Penal Code has come into effect and it carries harshest penalties in the world concerning crimes against women and children. Here are some examples:

    Rape: 20 years imprisonment
    Rape+abduction: 25+ years
    Rape of minor: 35 years without parole
    Honor killing: Life sentence with 15 years solitary confinement, no parole
    Sexual harassment: 8 years+
    Sexual-emotional abuse: 8 years +
    Rape- abuse in marriage: 8 to 10 years
    Physical harm: 8+ years

  • Tim57

    9 September 2012 9:06PM

    “In cases where a woman’s health is endangered, abortion can be allowed at up to 20 weeks.”

    So after 20 weeks, the still nowhere-near-born baby becomes more important than the living-but-maybe-dying mother – even though she should live to nurture her existing young, and maybe even later have more babies herself.

    There is perverse, and then there is worse than perverse. This is worse than perverse. The only purpose of such a law, it really seems, is to send a message to Turkish women that as grown, mature adults taking the major part in daily family life, they aren’t even slightly important – and neither is their family insofar as it is part of them.

    This is my ‘analysis’. That they are compelled by ‘belief’ to abandon a whole family, just so everyone understands that the one woman in that same family was SO VERY VERY VERY unimportant that adding the value of her family, consisting of her AND several of her own children (roughly half of whom will be male) to her value simply cannot be allowed to change her value.

    OMfG. Doesn’t this amount to some kind of casus belli for somebody? Oh yeah, she cut his head right off.

  • Jackston

    9 September 2012 9:09PM

    The value of an adult does not exceed a child, everyone on this planet has an equal value.

    Well, sunshine and rainbows – I think (hope) we can all agree in principle that everyone on this planet has equal value.
    In reality, society has to decide between rights of people on a daily basis. In this situation it has to decide between the rights of the foetus and the rights of the mother, and the 2 are mutually exclusive.
    How you decide is not uncomplicated, for sure. But, based on a degree of logic I believe the rights of the mother should triumph, although accept there are arguments both ways.

  • ahmetepic

    9 September 2012 9:13PM

    Court handling of rape cases are in fact very efficient in Turkey. Since the new changes to Turkish Penal Code, now there are harsh penalties for crimes against women and children. On the 9th June this year, two men received 35 years prison sentences each for raping an university student in Antalya. Only yesterday, a school teacher received 20 years for sexually abusing two female school children.

  • SamuelTaylor

    9 September 2012 9:16PM

    Thank you for that, although it does make it a little more frustrating that she either chose not to or was unable to report what was happening to her. If he was a rapist I think prison is a far harsher punishment than death.

  • kristinekochanski

    9 September 2012 9:20PM

    I’ve got to admit I think the argument around abortion is fairly simple. A collection of cells which is not a human being can be aborted, I think it is preferable to head that off by using contraception, but if an unwanted pregnancy occurs I have no moral qualms at all about terminating pregnancy. With the proviso that the fetus being terminated is in the stage of development where it is wholly dependent upon the mother & is therefore effectively a part of her body. When the fetus becomes viable outside the mother’s womb I think it gains rights. This does obviously mean that time limits are moveable depending on medical advances. I am OK with that.

  • ahmetepic

    9 September 2012 9:20PM

    The newTurkish Penal Code carries harsh sentences for crimes against women and children.
    One can get a 35 years prison sentence for rape. Honor killing carries a life sentence+ 15 years solitary confinement with no parole. So, the raping abuser is NOT at all given a rap on the knucles as you seem to suggest… Even verbally insulting a woman can land a man in prison for 8 years.

  • 78comments

    9 September 2012 9:23PM

    Which Muslim country is next Guardian Editor?

    A crystal clear strategy on what is happening here. How many more writers pissed off with their nations can you find to demonise Islam?

  • rotifer

    9 September 2012 9:25PM

    I don’t think you quite get it, the authorities don’t care, women are treated as possessions. As far as prison being far harsher than death, you can bet it wasn’t the first time this guy did this, and would not be the last. 
    As an transplanted Brit in America I see this country going the same way as Turkey regarding women’s rights. If Paul Ryan and his cronies get into power America will look more like Afghanistan when it comes to women’s choices over their own bodies. 
    I wonder how you would feel if this has been your wife or daughter?

  • ahmetepic

    9 September 2012 9:26PM

    Turkish justice system is secular. It has been secular for the last 200 years. The new changes to the Turkish Penal Code have been very effective so far. In June this year two men were given 35 year prison sentences each for raping an university student in Antalya. Even verbally harassing a woman can land a man in prison for 8 yeras.

  • bluerider

    9 September 2012 9:27PM

    “the children of a woman who had cleansed her honour
    ____________________________________________

    She was driven to this extreme measure by the rapist.

  • Rasputin9000

    9 September 2012 9:28PM

    What will you do when the technology exists to provide an artificial womb and keep a foetus alive from 5 weeks? 
    Do you believe that at 29 weeks it could survive without high-powered medical assistance?
    Is the cost of that assistance greater than the cost of saving a life elsewhere? So why is it that a rapist’s genes should be allowed to prosper? Enough resources to prevent people dying from a lack of humanitarian assistance, will never be reached, so let’s not pretend it’s about saving lives – it’s which life you choose to save.

  • AnEmptyHourglass

    9 September 2012 9:29PM

    1. There is no genetic tendency to rape, its best not to invent things and express them in public.

    Do you have proof for this? I said “of any genetic tendency” – so I wasn’t stating definitively that there was one, but since you seem certain – I’d like to see proof.

    2. So, say you had a wife or girlfriend (sorry, I don’t know if you’re a man or a woman) and that child was the result of a rape then surely you would also support her to murder that children when they were say, three? Or if you found out you were a result of rape you would kill yourself?

    I think the normal duration of a pregnancy is plenty of time. If one has gone so far as to deliver the child – then surely one has chosen to support the child and keep it alive. It’s stupid to say that I’m arguing for an indefinite death sentence. It’s also stupid to suppose an individual would choose to commit suicide as a logical consequence – this is about the right of a person to determine what happens to and in their own body.

    3. Some women trick men into getting them pregnant, so should those men be able to force that woman to have an abortion?

    Why? Those men aren’t having any usage of their own body forced on them and they are still participating in an act that they know may result in a child (contraception is never 100%). So again, I don’t see where you’d get this from.

    4. A child born to a couple is no different to a child born as a result of rape, children don’t have different worth or a different right life than another. There is no legitimate reason to kill a baby.

    I can assure you that if I were a woman, and a rapist created a child inside me, I would abort that child (legal or not, my body is mine to determine, not yours and not societies).

    I’m guessing you don’t support abortion in cases of extreme medical risk to the mother either? Ie it’s best to risk death to both mother and child than to make sure the mother lives at the expense of the child? Once a child is born – by all means – it’s then clearly a separate organism with it’s own life, and the argument evaporates.

    Are you saying that society or a woman who is a victim should bear the 18+ year cost of an instance of rape resulting in pregnancy? I mean – wow – that’s a really long and demanding sentence to place on someone. It’s a fundamental effect that will affect a massive chunk of a person’s life! (ie the consequences go far beyond the duration of pregnancy)

    What about cases of incest, where the rapist is a close relative (even father) and there is every chance of defects in the child? Do you really believe in preserving lifeat all costs?. Or where the victim is an underage minor (a child themselves)?

    5. A child conceived during rape is not a child who is conceived in an environment where it will be killed, the only children conceived to be killed are those who are killed by their mothers (and within the legal abortion time frame).

    This statement is clearly false if the mother decides she is not willing to surrender her body to the child of a rapist and aborts. As to how a rapist can presume that his child will be looked after, I am unclear (unless society mandates rape victims must bear his child despite having no choice).

    It isn’t possible for a man to give birth, but I can see the outcry if men were forced merely to directly support a random child economically and emotionally for 18+ years that he did not have any choice in creating.

    The bottom line is that we don’t live in a perfect world and I hope that any person who is vocal about saying women should not have the right of determination over their own body is equally vocal about all the children who die to preventable causes such as starvation and disease every year (and remember, you could help them far more directly and efficiently).

    The choice ought to rest with the victim. I’m not saying that abortion of children produced from rape ought to be compulsory – I’m saying the victim deserves the choice.

  • Rasputin9000

    9 September 2012 9:33PM

    If it was a white Western writer then you’d complain about their inherent racism/imperialism/ignorance/islamophobia.

    Clearly being critical of Sharia law (of all things) now falls into the same Catch-22 ad hominem as criticising public schools (attended one -> ungrateful hypocrite, did not attend -> chip on shoulder) or criticising the wealthy (poor -> politics of envy, rich -> class traitor). But people see through this kind of thing quite readily.

  • Rationalcomment

    9 September 2012 9:54PM

    It does not matter how severe the penalties are, if the culture accepts rape and abuse, then women /children will still be abused, and will still be placed in the position of either defending themselves or being victimised over and over again.
    This woman chose to act ,out of a position of total victimisation, victimised by the rapist, and by her neighbours, who knew and did nothing. There was no good outcome for her, only a bad situation or a worse one….
    As for the usual doubters…if you are ever raped,maybe then you will see what drivel you have been spouting.
    If she wants an abortion she should have one,her mental well being should be first and foremost.

  • okthanks

    9 September 2012 10:08PM

    Not really that rare at all before 29 weeks, plenty of babies are born at that stage who have no serious mental or physical illnesses. I worked with a child who was born before 24 weeks and not only survived without brain damage but led a very normal life after all his initial treatments. His case was exceptional but not impossible.

  • MissCaryatid

    9 September 2012 10:10PM

    The Turkish penal code may be harsh – no argument there – but it’s how it’s chosen to be applied which is at the root of the problem with such issues.

    On the surface, Turkey presents a different picture to what finally emerges when brave journalists bring us more than what has been allowed through the non-insulting of Turkishness laws (Article 301). I may even go as far as praising the Duchess of York’s undercover journalistic exposures on the cruelty in Turkish orphanages.

  • DarkBliss

    9 September 2012 10:22PM

    Sentience is typically defined as the ability to feel. Few would agree with you that the foetus at 29 weeks is not sentient, i.e. incapable of feeling pain.

    As for it being a “thinking creature,” which is much harder to define, are you advocating be able to kill anything that doesn’t meet your definition of “thinking”? There are plenty of adults who wouldn’t meet certain definitions of such a capacity.

    It is a terrible situation and certainly difficult ethically. The child-to-be, though, isn’t at fault for any of it and shouldn’t become another victim, and if she did chose to terminate her pregnancy at such a late state, there’s a chance that could just cause further trauma for her as well.

  • Elihphile

    9 September 2012 10:27PM

    I want time to digest your argument, but meanwhile I would like to point out that a foetus is not viable at 22 weeks. With extreme medical intervention, a foetus that is either delivered, or prematurely born at 22 weeks, would not be able to sustain life, and more commonly than not, dies.

    I only use the for “viability” because that’s the word that tends to be used in these discussions. It’s not especially relevant to my argument because I don’t think there’s any great metaphysical significance to dependence that affects someone’s intrinsic value. The point is that theoretically you could end the pregnancy (maintaining the mother’s physical autonomy- or so the argument goes) without automatically killing the baby in the process, so if you terminate the pregnancy in such a way that it does not result in a live birth you’re making a specific choice to kill the baby not just end the pregnancy.

    Again, this is not borne out by statistics. Most pregnancies do not, contrary to the concept of natural progression, make it through to full gestation. This is borne out by the huge increase in miscarriage figures, which show a steady increase in the number of miscarriages over time. Whether this is due to our ability to detect pregnancies at an earlier stage, or some external factor (and I favour the former) it shows that pregnancy is not the “natural process that will ultimately lead to completion unless stopped by intervention”.

    This is also not especially relevant to my argument. The fact that it can sometimes spontaneously go wrong is not incompatible with it being a natural ordinarily self-sustaining process. To illustrate the distinction between positive and negative autonomy that I’m trying to make, suppose that the baby near term is in distress and needs to be delivered immediately. If the mother refuses a caesarean and the doctor performs one anyway to save the baby’s life, that is an assault, similar to if you were forced to donate blood or an organ to save someone’s life. That is an example of negative bodily autonomy. Alternatively let’s take out the ethical dimension and suppose you have usually benign and self-limiting tumour that will be expelled from your body after a period of time. You don’t have an absolute right to have it immediately removed, and you could be refused the procedure for any number of valid reasons, say there isn’t a doctor available with the necessary skills, or the NHS doesn’t think that it provides value for money. The ability to make choices generally and health decisions (an example of positive autonomy), in particular, is a relativegood so it would be an infringement upon you’re autonomy to arbitrarily prevent you from having this procedure if it was cheap and simple, and it would be an injustice if some had access to a greatly higher standard of healthcare because of cost or discrimination, but it is not an absolute right to have specific procedure done.

    Also the rate of natural miscarriage isn’t relevant to the ethics of abortion. I might have a heart attack tomorrow, but that doesn’t make it okay for me to be killed by a mad axe murderer. Further, my right not to be killed isn’t related to the actuarial likelihood of me dying naturally- it would be no more bad to murder me, given that I am 24 than if I was 84 or if I was 4 years old in a country with a high rate of child mortality. Further, pregnancy isn’t as intrinsically precarious as the rate of miscarriage would lead you to believe as most miscarriages are due to genetic abnormalities incompatible with development.

  • Elihphile

    9 September 2012 10:34PM

    Moreover, in cases such as violent rape, it must surely, always be a woman’s right to choose?

    As I said in my previous comment:

    If continuing to be pregnant is going to destroy her mental health, I think there’s a good case for delivering the baby early, in whichever way she feels is easiest to cope with, on the grounds that we would do the same for a comparable risk to her physical health, and I think the two should be treated equally.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 10:34PM

    You are contradicting yourself.

    First, “you are destroying, killing and eradicating, terminating or murdering a foetus” and second, “The desire for women to have total control over their reproductive systems is paramount. And I agree with that.”

    So you agree with the woman’s desire to have reproductive autonomy. .. but if she has an abortion (at any stage of her pregnancy, I think you’re saying) what she is doing is utterly immoral. So you don’t agree with her desire to have reproductive autonomy.

    The “switch” that you mention is the ability to be viable. I and others who believe that abortion must fall within the law tend to accept that the right to abortion shouldn’t really go right up to the day before the due date, or the week before. Therefore, it makes sense to have it legal up to the point of viability (except in the most extreme of circumstances.)

    I’m not saying “less human.” I’m saying “incapable of life outside the womb.”

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 10:41PM

    I’m not saying “impossible.” I am saying very, very rare. You yourself concede that it is exceptional, a child born so early who survives without serious damage.

    What the pro-life lobby seek to do is flag up these extraordinarily rare cases. We don’t hear too much from them about the reality for most extremely prem babies. Which is often very bleak. I’ve seen such children at my son’s special school; they have a very poor quality of life, need 24 hour care, very often the parents’ marriage falls apart due to the huge strain involved. . .and any other kids in the family lose out of normal parental nurturing, because the parents are (understandably) putting their energies into the very disabled child.

    The so-called pro-life lobby appeals to sentiment. Of course, we all like happy ending stories. But they are rare.

  • chokatlate

    9 September 2012 10:56PM

    Yeah right, so the next time there is a rape case in the English criminal court we’ll count on you to remind people that rape occurs in Muslim countries too…in the interests of balance of course.

    You know what, if somebody hijacked a threat about rape in England to argue that rape was just a symptom of a decaying or inherently inferior English culture, I’d too remind them that not English culture is the problem but rapists and that rapists exist in other countries and cultures as well.

    Not that I believe that you really care what I would or wouldn’t argue. Nor do you care about Nevin or any other rape victim here in England or in Turkey. All you care about your personal pet peeve, Islam. Right? And, frankly, I think that’s distasteful.

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 10:58PM

    I disagree, I don’t think that because something is immoral then it is unacceptable. As a human being one must be able to see that terminating a foetus is an extraordinary and incredible act. It is a tragedy of circumstances, but it is immoral. Much like war, in war a soldier will kill other human beings. We can consider that acceptable, but also immoral. I consider it a necessity. I believe that a woman has total rights over her foetus until birth whereby it is granted a certain social and legal status.

    The narrative of ‘pro-choice’ is wrong. The idea that until week 24, the foetus is undeveloped and can therefore to terminated, but afterwards, once it takes on human traits and abilities it can no longer be touched is wrong because it makes no sense. The foetus at 20 weeks is still a foetus, it will still develop into a human. Terminating it at 20 weeks is the same as at 30. Just because a foetus can feel pain at 30 weeks and not at 20 weeks makes absolutely no difference.

    A human being must decide whether it is an acceptable choice. I do. The irony of this is at I believe in greater abortion powers than you. Even though I acknowledge its immorality.

  • cyberhippy13

    9 September 2012 11:01PM

    Here in the UK, women have been acquitted after killing violent partners who have subjected them to years of abuse. I don’t see much difference here. Oh no wait, I do. In the UK we at least have some (all be it arguably inadequate) support for victims of abuse and sexual assault and we make some attempts to prosecute the abusers. This women had no hope of seeing her rapist punished. Her community did not protect her, instead they sniggered about what was happening to her. The police would likely have been even worse. Some women who report sexual assault in Turkey are re-victimised by the officers they report to. At best they are blamed for the crime and accused of adultery. The chances of them even arresting the guy were slim and she would likely face repercussions for reporting it, from her abuser and her community.

    I do not think you have any conception of the desperate, powerless existence of women in heavily patriarchal societies like this one. If she had not done what she did, there is a high chance he would still be raping her to this day. If I was on her jury, and her story held water, I would acquit.

  • chapmania

    9 September 2012 11:03PM

    Sounds like a good way to deal with rapists to me. I’ve not an ounce of pity for him.

    I think that the best way to treat an *alleged* rapist is to put him on trial for rape.

    You (and the 118 people who recommend your moronic comment) would be more at home in a Tailban lynch mob. I’m glad I live in a country where the law protects us all from people like you, but I’m sadder still that people like you exist.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 11:07PM

    You are talking in a highly theoretical way about this, rather enjoying (I suspect) the philosophical angles. I am surmising that you are male. You know, therefore, that this will never be anything other than a theoretical exploration for you. That’s a luxury women don’t have. A woman can get pregnant and not want the pregnancy. A woman can get raped and have no control whatsoever.

    I’ve heard your arguments before from others.

    Most people who think something is “immoral” seek to prevent it happening.

  • MissCaryatid

    9 September 2012 11:07PM

    Correct on aggressive. However, it is a myth that Turkey is secular. It has merely destroyed all other religions (Christians etc) in favour of Sunni Islam which is the only one recognised by the Turkish state. Turkey, at the expense of all other (some far older) religions is now 99% Muslim. Besides, I think there Imams are paid for by the state.

  • TrueToo

    9 September 2012 11:08PM

    While I have a great deal of sympathy for this woman, a raped woman cannot simply kill her rapist. Where would that end – he leered at me so I shot him through the head?

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 11:11PM

    I don’t agree that I am confused. Abortion is a necessity as you have just pointed out. There is evidence that there was abortion in the Middle Ages for instance.

    What I am saying is that believing that abortion is fine after 20 weeks, and not believing it is fine after 30 is an act of moral gymnastics. There is no difference.

  • chapmania

    9 September 2012 11:21PM

    What I am saying is that believing that abortion is fine after 20 weeks, and not believing it is fine after 30 is an act of moral gymnastics. There is no difference.

    So you equate abortion at 1 week with abortion at 37 weeks? You are welcome to your opinion of course but don’t accuse those who disagree with you as “moral gymnasts”. Snowcat3 is making some unjustified assumptions about you but it’s only because you are coming across as a bit of a smartarse here.

  • Elihphile

    9 September 2012 11:22PM

    You are talking in a highly theoretical way about this, rather enjoying (I suspect) the philosophical angles. I am surmising that you are male. You know, therefore, that this will never be anything other than a theoretical exploration for you. That’s a luxury women don’t have. A woman can get pregnant and not want the pregnancy. A woman can get raped and have no control whatsoever.

    That’s just special pleading. In addition I don’t see which bit of Carrington90’s argument’s you’re objecting to. He’s not seeking to restrict abortion in any way (he’s much more generous than I am), and is agreeing with all you’re premises about women having the absolute right to choose, is it just acknowledging the moral nature of the act you find objectionable?

    PS, I’m female. Does this give my arguments greater validity?

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 11:24PM

    Okay, my aim is not to sound patronising or brow-beat you into submission. I think I’ve confused you because what you’re hearing is the lexicon of the ‘pro-lifers’ (I hate hate phrase) but then conclusions that certainly aren’t.

    I must say that another person’s choice over their pregnancy has nothing to do with me. I just believe (getting back to the article!) that this lady, if she wants to, should be allowed to have a late-term abortion.

  • Blueball

    9 September 2012 11:36PM

    Hear hear! 
    Well said, AtaBrit. Why don’t you write an article for the CiF section so that talentless hacks like Ms Safak can fuck off into oblivion.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 11:45PM

    I agree with you about this woman. Because this is an extreme case. I do think there should be room for manoeuvre with any abortion law. . .

    Words like “immoral” certainly do belong in the “pro life” lexicon. Also the word “murdering.”

    I find it rather worrying that you are telling us that you consider abortion to be immoral while this article is actually about rape and attitudes towards rape victims in a very patriarchal society. Presuming that the facts as presented to us here are true, surely there was extreme immorality in the actions of the rapist? Maybe you think that doesn’t need to be said, but I think it does. There are clearly many people in Turkey (and not only in Turkey) who would put the woman in the dock (literally or metaphorically or both) after a rape or rapes, but not the man.

    In fact, I find a lot of the responses here rather depressing (if predictable). The word “abortion” was mentioned in the article. . .so that’s what has become the main issue on the thread.

  • Carrington90

    9 September 2012 11:55PM

    So you equate abortion at 1 week with abortion at 37 weeks?

    Generally speaking yes. Although there are obviously logistical differences. A pregnancy at 1 week is much further away from birth and more susceptible to miscarriage etc. Either way it is a foetus. It is a human foetus. And it is on its way to being a human.

    but don’t accuse those who disagree with you as “moral gymnasts”.

    I actually debated with myself which phrase to use. I tried for the one that was most benign, and actually quite complementary. Clearly I failed.

    you are coming across as a bit of a smartarse here

    I’m sorry, in future my comments on the Guardian website will consist of ‘I hate Nick Clegg’, ‘Tories are scum’ and my favourite, ‘Down with capitalism’. Finally, and for future reference, just because I am querying your viewpoint does not make me a ‘smartarse’, it just means I’m querying your viewpoint.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 11:56PM

    As humans, we make moral decisions all the time.

    If we’re going to talk morality, how about the so-called morality involved in the case set before us? Not just the rapist’s behaviour but the behaviour of all those who were aware of what was happening and who did nothing ?

    The so-called pro-life lobby doesn’t seem to want to focus on rape. Or on any male behaviour at all, actually. Their focus is, overwhelmingly, the foetus. The focus on the woman is not on her as a full human being with rights but on how moral (or immoral) she is.

    I don’t hear you and other so-called pro-lifers here offering any real suggestions as to how to challenge highly sexist and misogynist behaviour, in Turkey or elsewhere. You’ve read the word “abortion” and you’ve come out with your usual arguments.

    Abortion is not the only moral issue. And “pro-lifers” do not have a monopoly on moral attitudes or behaviour.

  • snowcat3

    9 September 2012 11:58PM

    At one week’s gestation, it is not a foetus. This is incorrect biologically speaking. It is a blastocyst. Then it becomes an embryo, It is only a foetus when it is fully formed (though still far too small to survive ex utero.)

  • chapmania

    10 September 2012 12:21AM

    Generally speaking yes

    So you believe that a foetus shoud be “abortable” up until the moment of birth? Why not a few weeks beyond? I’m not sure I really want an answer to that. But I think that equating 1 & 37 weeks is more inconsistent than differentiating between 20 vs 30 weeks.

     

    I actually debated with myself which phrase to use. I tried for the one that was most benign, and actually quite complementary.

    I don’t think accusing someone of moral gymnastics is complementary in any situation.

     

    Finally, and for future reference, just because I am querying your viewpoint does not make me a ‘smartarse’, it just means I’m querying your viewpoint.

    Agreed, querying my viewpoint is not what makes you a smartarse.

  • Carrington90

    10 September 2012 12:26AM

    It’s funny really, in politics the battle for semantics is so important. I find stuff like that interesting, I heard, in the media, the death of Tony Nicklinson said to be ‘heroic’. It doesn’t really matter.

    I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this issue of immorality in abortion. I think it should be acknowledged that it is an incredible act. Terminating a potential life per se is immoral. But that does not necessarily mean that it is unjustifiable or wrong. In a way I consider the rape to be separate to the potential action of abortion. There are some who are willing to give birth to their rapists child – and there are those who don’t have a choice. I don’t believe that a woman has to ‘justify’ her choice of abortion. Whether it be a rapists or their partners it has nothing to do with us. Rape itself is one of the most disgusting crimes that can be committed. And of course there will always be some like Todd Akin in the USA who will pretend it doesn’t exist. We also still have issues with this idea that some people‘deserve it’

    I agree. I would also add that a lot of comments are euphemistic attacks upon Muslims as well. These emotive issues will always dominate debates. And we are doomed to repeat them over and over again.

  • Carrington90

    10 September 2012 12:37AM

    We’re going around in circles here. I’m saying it has nothing to do with us. I’m saying it is already happening. I’m saying that sending someone to prison for it is futile. I’m saying that there is a moral hypocrisy here. I saying that the boundary we have set for abortions is fallible. I’m saying that in the grand scheme of things, given that abortion is the terminating of a potential human, it does not matter if it is taken at 37 weeks, if it can also be taken at 24. Why are you so outraged at the idea of 35 weeks but not 24?

    I’ve already said that upon birth the baby is given social and legal status separate from its mother. You want to be annoyed at me, you want to be offended and insulted.

  • snowcat3

    10 September 2012 12:41AM

    I suppose my main point is: if you were that woman, or if I were, then the rape and the (desired) abortion would not appear to be separate. Brutal fact: she is pregnant as a result of rape, and she doesn’t want to continue with the pregnancy. This is her reality.

    I think you’re tying yourself in knots. Immoral but not necessarily unjustifiable or wrong?

    As for your “euphemistic attacks on Muslims”, yes I daresay there is an element of this here. But it would take a particularly pro-Islamist person (or a particularly naive one) to suggest that patriarchal attitudes such as the ones discussed in the article have nothing to do with Islam at all. Such attitudes are not exclusively found in Muslim countries, but there is no Muslim country that is not shot through with them.

    I don’t attack individual Muslims. I do reserve the right to attack Islam. .. or any other religion or philosophy, for that matter. No religion or philosophy should be demanding immunity from criticism. If someone takes issue with a criticism, let them refute it.

  • rakibiniz

    10 September 2012 12:43AM

    This story has been making the headlines in the Turkish press for days now.
    Little bit of research saves a lot of embarrassment.

    Then you should know that, as the case has yet to go to trial, he remains the “alleged rapist”, technically. To say so is not to be a rape apologist, as has been claimed above, but merely to respect the principle that one is not guilty in law until the case has been investigated and the circumstances revealed.

    Given the behaviour of Nevin, it seems to me and most others highly likely that she is speaking the truth, but let’s wait until it goes to trial.

    Given that the eyes of the world are going to be on that trial, there’s a better chance than usual of justice being done than is often the case with mental Turkish judges. (There are no trials by jury.)

    If what Nevin alleges is true, (as I believe it to be), the men from the coffee-house should go down as accessories too. Probably they don’t even feel shame though, such is the state of many males in this country.

  • rakibiniz

    10 September 2012 12:51AM

    common to see women in the latest fashions, dyed blonde hair, make up and even enjoying a few alcoholic drinks and cigarettes with their husbands

    In my district it’s still common to see cross-dressing men in the latest fashions, dyed blonde hair, make up and enjoying a few alcoholic drinks and cigarettes. And women too. There is a creeping conservatism, but I think you exaggerate somewhat: it is not “exceptionally rare” in the 3 major cities, or around the coast from Çanakkale to Mersin. It is “exceptionally rare in the rest of the country, but it always was.

  • Carrington90

    10 September 2012 1:07AM

    I think you and I agree on all points except two:

    Firstly, I believe that a woman should be able to have an abortion after 24 weeks – not just in extreme circumstances, but as a norm.

    Secondly, I believe and I think we ‘pro-choicers’ should say that abortion is a immoral necessity, much like war etc. That women having a hegemonic control of their reproduction is the most important thing. I think that continuing to deny this, harms us more than helps. After-all the foetus did not rape the woman, but the woman does not want the child. And she should not be made to have it. It is all about the woman not the foetus.

  • Kepler

    10 September 2012 1:11AM

    Fine article, thankyou.

    The religion of Islam, whatever its virtues, doesn’t seem strong on women’s rights. Turkey is better as the secular state declared by Attaturk.

  • rakibiniz

    10 September 2012 1:11AM

    unlike other areas of life in Turkey, local and national politics remains stubbornly patriarchal

    Elif, please enlighten us: what are these areas of life that aren’t dominated by men in Turkey? Do you mean housework & childcare?

  • fukuman

    10 September 2012 1:23AM

    Raped repeatedly? as in 1 night and got pregnant? or,as in,opening the door for him and cocking a leg for a few weeks whilst her hubby was on business (no doubt screwing british holidaymakers and hookers) then she finds out the new beau didnt want to marry her?

    2 sides to every story.

  • chapmania

    10 September 2012 1:24AM

    Whoa, a lot of points here.

    I’m saying that sending someone to prison for it is futile.

    To prison for the murder? If her version of events is correct I agree 100% but the head in the bag says she at least has a case to answer.

    I’m saying that there is a moral hypocrisy here.

    Might have missed that but do explain? From who?

    I saying that the boundary we have set for abortions is fallible

    Not sure how you define “fallible” but it’s surely somewhat arbitrary. That doesn’t mean indefensible.

    given that abortion is the terminating of a potential human, it does not matter if it is taken at 37 weeks, if it can also be taken at 24. Why are you so outraged at the idea of 35 weeks but not 24?

    I’m not outraged. I think I disagree, but not strongly. I only weighed in because you were dismissive of someone else’s opinion. I think there is a line to be drawn, somewhere well before birth, but I’m glad I’m not the one making the decision. I’m glad you’re not too!

    I’ve already said that upon birth the baby is given social and legal status separate from its mother.

    And it’s given legal protection a good deal earlier than that, what’s your point?

    You want to be annoyed at me, you want to be offended and insulted.

    Please don’t tell me what I want, I’m neither. You’ve already put far more effort into this thread than me so I don’t mean to be overly critical. Just add a bit more respect if you can x

http://www.prisonactivist.org/resources Resources PARC corresponds with and mails a directory of these resources to prisoners, their friends and family members. We are often the first point of contact for people to connect with prisoners’ rights organiz

http://www.prisonactivist.org/resources

Resources

PARC corresponds with and mails a directory of these resources to prisoners, their friends and family members. We are often the first point of contact for people to connect with prisoners’ rights organizations, community organizations, prison literature and arts projects, family and visiting resources, health care and legal resources, parole and pre-release resources, and the prison abolition movement. Here is a PDF copy of the Resource Guide.

Resource Category
Infectious Diseases in Corrections Report 

Research and publications on managing infectious diseases in corrections environments.

Health Care/Medical Neglect
A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual 

The 9th edition of A Jailhouse Lawyer’s
Manual is $30 if shipped directly to
prisoners; $105 for all others. It is also
available…

legal
ABC South Chicago Zine Distro

Offers a wide variety of political zines at low cost to prisoners. Specializes in helping get the truth out of the gulags, in zine form. Supports…

publications
ACLU of Texas Prison and Jail Accountability Project legal
Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers, Inc. (AIM)

An advocacy group for incarcerated mothers. AIM can provide helpful information for all women in prison who have children but can only provide…

women
Aid to Inmate Mothers

Aid to Inmate Mothers provides visitation and other services for Alabama’s inmate mothers and their children

family
AIDS Educational Project 

Provides educational materials and legal information about AIDS in prison. Offers class action and litigation for prisoners. Free packet of info…

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
AIDS in Prison Project

Brochures for HIV-positive people. Info hotline in English and Spanish. Also provides transitional housing with case management for recently…

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania 

Provides legal services for prisoners in PA with HIV / AIDS. Se habla espanol.

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS,legal
AIDSinfo

Offering info on HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and research.

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
AK Press

AK Press publishes and distributes a wide
variety of radical literature and audio, many
directly relating to prisoner and policing

booksliterature,Spanish
Alavi Foundation

Free Koran and other Islamic books for inmates.

religious
Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Office

Free information, local phone lines, meetings in most communities.

rehabilitation
Alliance of Incarcerated Canadians/Foreigners in American Prisons (AICAP) legal
Allied Resistance

Monthly publication of prisoner revolutionaries dedicated to build to build a movement for a just and sustainable future. $1 or 4 stamp donations…

publication
American Bible Society 

Free bibles including large print and study guides. They can arrange with a chaplain to have books sent if necessary. Will send in Spanish…

 
American Bible Society 

Free bibles including large print and study guides. They can arrange with a chaplain to have books sent if necessary. Will send books in…

religious
American Bible Society

Free bibles including large print and study

guides. They can arrange with a chaplain to

have books sent if necessary. Will send

Spanish
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National Prison Project

Write for list of publications and the contact

info for the ACLU office in your state

legal
American Friends Service Committee Prisoners Resource Center

Has criminal justice programs in various states. Parole and post-release services offered.

parole
AmfAR AIDS Research

Conducts AIDS research and provides written information in English and Spanish.

Health Care/Medical Neglect
Anarchist Black Cross Chicago

Write for their “ABC Information and Resources Guide” (available for download on their website). Contains essays on the politics of the ABC and…

Texas
Anarchist Black Cross New York City ABCF

Write for their “ABC Information and Resources Guide” (available for download on their website). Contains essays on the politics of the ABC and…

 
Anarchist Black Cross South Chicago

zine distribution

 
Anti-Racist Action L.A./PART: People Against Racist Terror

ARA opposes all forms of racism and colonialism, opposes police brutality and supports political prisoners. Publishes quarterly “Turning the Tide…

publications
Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP)

Serves imprisoned men and women in the states of Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

booksliterature
Art Behind Bars, Inc.

Art Behind Bars is an art-based community service program that has a national call for artists on the inside to donate their work as a community…

Art
Asheville Global Report

Winner of ten Project Censored awards, and a great source of weekly independent news.

publication
Asheville Prison Books Programs

Sends free reading material to indigent inmates in facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Also sends National…

booksliterature,Spanish
Association for Research and Enlightenment: Prison Outreach Program

Books about the life and work of Edgar

Cayce, meditation, and reincarnation. Prisoners are limited to one book every two

months. No…

books
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers

Newsletter for members only. Provides treatment referrals.

rehabilitation
Barrios Unidos

Post-release services. Performs Pow-wow/ Cinco De Mayo/Juneteenth ceremonies at Tracy and info packet related to cultural traditions.

support
Battered Women’s Justice Project Criminal Justice Office

We provide assistance and information to battered women charged with crimes and to their defense teams. We do not provide direct legal…

women
BAUS BOOKS CIRCULATION 

The Buddhist Association of the United States

Attn: Book Circulation Department

Buddhist…

religious
BAUS Books Circulation

Buddhist books, only $1-2 postage fees. Write for list of books.

publication
Behind the Wire Prisoner Information Network

Began in 1995, when a small group of Utah state prisoners, their families, and other allies organized a coalition to give voice and information to…

Utah
Better People

Better People’s mission is to dramatically reduce recidivism in the Portland metropolitan area.

social support
Blackstone Career Institute 

Offers a well-known correspondence program in law. The oldest school of its kind in the U.S., prisoners make up a sizable percentage of students…

legal
Book ‘Em

Mainly serving prisoners from PA, VA, and WV. Will serve large-print readers and Native American Indian prisoners from elsewhere as well. Request…

booksliterature,magazine
Books 4 Prisoners Crew

Free books to prisoners in Ohio, Indiana,

and Texas only. Sends “Inside Out: A

Resource Guide for the Incarcerated” to all

US…

books
Books Through Bars

Provides books to prisoners in PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD, WV, and VA. Please request books by subject or topic rather than by specific titles. We…

booksliterature
Books Through Bars – Ithaca

An all-volunteer operated, community-based

organization that sends books mainly to the

most populated states: NY, TX, FL, CA, PA….

books
Books Through Bars – NYC

Ships to prisoners nationwide. Specializes in political and history books. Occasionally sends fiction and educational books. No religious…

booksliterature
Books To Prisoners

Free books to prisoners nationwide. Request by subject, no religious materials or legal materials. Donations appreciated. Does NOT ship to prisons…

booksliterature
Books to Prisoners-Bellingham 

Free books to prisoners nationwide. Request by subject, no religious materials or legal materials. Donations appreciated. Does NOT ship to prisons…

booksliterature
Books to Prisoners-Olympia 

Sends quality used books free of charge to prisoners all over.

booksliterature
Books to Prisoners-Portland

Free books to prisoners nationwide. Request by subject, no religious materials or legal materials. Donations appreciated. Does NOT ship to prisons…

 
California Coalition for Women Prisoners

Runs action center and produces newsletter “The Fire Inside”

women
California Prison Focus

Provides several different services, including advocacy, investigations into control units in the CA prison system, visits and limited family…

newsletter
Campaign to End the Death Penalty

A national grassroots abolitionist organization that works with prisoners, family members and organizers. CEDP publishes a newsletter called The…

death penalty
Center for Constitutional Rights 

Publishes The Jailhouse Lawyers’ Handbook and Women’s Appendix,

self-help guide for filing Section 1983 claims in…

legal
Center for Disease Control’s National Prevention Information Network

Provides info, publications, and technical assistance on HIV/AIDS, STDs, and TB M-F 9am-6pm (Eastern time.) Se habla espanol. General medical info…

Health Care/Medical Neglect
Center for the Children of Incarcerated Parents

Provides free educational material for incarcerated parents and their children, as well as therapeutic services, family reunification services,…

family
Centro Legal De La Raza

Provides many services for immigrants and helps with detention cases.

legal
Chicago Books to Women in Prison

Free books to women prisoners nationwide. Possible to request books in Spanish.

 

women
Chicano Mexicano Prison Project latino
Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) National Office

A prisoner advocacy group with chapters in all 50 states. Write for contact info for the CURE chapter in your state.

advocacy
Cleveland Books 2 Prisoners

Free books to prisoners in Ohio only.

books
Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights–Prison Project of Santa Fe

Monthly newsletter free to currently and formally incarcerated individual and family members. Stamps and donations needed.

newsletter
Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

A network of organizations, faith communities, and individuals working to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. Quarterly…

parole
Community Alliance on Prisons

A coalition that focuses on alternatives to incarceration, prison reform legislative issues, community education, and effective interventions for…

public education
Convicts for Christ, Inc 

Provides religious/spiritual counseling, emergency residential

assistance and referrals, including family…

Post-release services
Correctional Association of New York

Have four working project groups: the Public Policy Project, the Women in Prison Project, the Prison Visiting Project, and the Juvenile Justice…

legal
Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex National Office

Critical Resistance provides information on the prison industrial complex and produces quarterly newspaper “The Abolitionist.” Please do not…

newsletter
Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex–Northeast Regional Office

crne@criticalresistance.org

Critical Resistance provides information on the prison…

newsletter
Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex–Southern Regional Office

crsouth@criticalresistance.org

Critical Resistance provides information on the prison…

newsletter
D.R.I.V.E. Movement

Founded by Death Row prisoners, the DRIVE movement seeks to unite the Death Row community to push forward and initiate change in the conditions….

death penalty
DC Prison Book Project

Sends donated reading material to prisoners and educates the public about issues surrounding prisoner education and literacy.  Give about a 3…

booksliterature
Death Penalty Focus 

Dedicated to abolishing capital punishment through grassroots organizing, media outreach, nationwide coalition building, education of political,…

death penalty
Death Row Support Project 

Offers pen-pal services to death row inmates only. Can connect Spanish-
speaking pen-pals on a limited basis.

death penalty
DeathRowinmate.org

A grassroots anti-death penalty advocacy organization inspired by San Quentin, Ca death row inmates, their families, friends, and others…

death penalty
Dharma Friends Prison Outreach Project, Compassion Works For All 

Free newsletter and donated books, guidance for those leaving prison or other transitions

religious
Dharma Friends Prison Outreach Project, Compassion Works for All

Free newsletter and donated books, guidance for those leaving prison or other transitions.

publication
Dharma Seeds Foundation 

Non-profit organization that produces a newspaaper about meditation with a Catholic and Zen focus to those in jail, incarcerated within…

religious
Dharma Seeds Foundation 

Non-profit organization that produces a newspaper about meditation with a Catholic and Zen focus to those in jail, incarcerated within…

religious
Dharma Seeds Foundation

Dharma Seeds is a non-profit organization that produces a newspaper about meditation with a Catholic and Zen focus to those in jail, incarcerated…

newsletter
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Inc.

CA Prisoners Only. DREDF takes on very few cases each year. We receive far more requests for assistance than our resources allow us to take on….

disability rights
Drug Policy Alliance

One of the leading U.S. organizations promoting alternatives to the war on drugs, with extensive on-line library, reports on drug policy reform by…

war on drugs
East Bay Prisoner Support

Offers anarchist/radical zines to prisoners in TX and CA, and for female/queer prisoners all over the U.S.

literaturemagazine,prisoner support
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)

Chapters in almost 30 states. Write for newsletter and list of publications,

including info on Booker and Fanfan…

social support
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)

Chapters in almost 30 states. Write for newsletter and list of publications, including info on Booker and Fanfan decisions. Also provides amicus…

publications
Families of Parchman Prison Inmates

We serve as a support center to anyone who has a family member incarcerated or recently released from Parchman and any other prison in Mississippi…

family
Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes 

FACTS works to amend California’s Three Strikes law to target violent

felonies only. Quarterly newsletter (by…

social support
Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes (FACTS)

Works to amend California’s Three Strikes law to target violent felonies only. Quarterly newsletter (by donation). Print return address exactly if…

three strikes law
Family and Corrections Network

The mission of Family and Corrections Network (FCN) is to uphold families of prisoners as a valued resource to themselves and their communities in…

family
Florida Prisoners’ Legal Aid Organization  legal
Forever Family (formerly AIM)

Foreverfamily works to ensure that, no matter what the circumstances, all

children have the opportunity to be surrounded by the love of…

family
Fortune Society 

Prisoners re-entry advocacy and support for prisoners in NY.

Post-release services
Fortune Society

Prisoners re-entry advocacy and support for prisoners in NY.

re-entry
Free Battered Women

“In California, the majority of women prisoners are survivors of domestic violence; some are doing time for defending themselves and their…

women
Friends and Family of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children 

FFLIC is fighting for the closure of Swanson and Jetson Centers for Youth and for an increase in community-based services that help our children…

family
Gainsville Books for Prisoners

Covers prisoners nationwide. Accepts

requests by topic of interest only.

books
Greater Than AIDS

Responds to the AIDS crisis in the US, in particular the severe and disproportionate epidemic among Black Americans. Publishes newsletters and…

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
Groundwork Books Collective- 4 Prisoners Program 

Nationwide. Only one book per request. Request by subject.

 

booksliterature
Harm Reduction Coalition

A national advocacy and capacity-building organization promoting the dignity of individuals impacted by drug use. Publishes brochures, manuals,…

Health Care/Medical Neglect
HCV Advocate

Publishes monthly patient newsletter. Fact sheets on Hep C available for free download in five languages.

Health Care/Medical Neglect
Heart of the Earth Survival School Prison Program–National indian Prisoner Support Network Native American
Hepatitis Prison Coalition

Provides hepatitis and blood borne infection classes in all WA state prisons. Links prisoners with medical care upon release. Their newsletter,…

Health Care/Medical Neglect
Hour Children, Inc. 

Mission is to support mothers and their children. Provides resources and services outside and inside NY state prisons. Provides services in…

family
Human Kindness Foundation 

Non-profit organization that produces a newspaper about meditation with a Catholic and Zen focus to those in jail, incarcerated within…

 
Human Kindness Foundation 

Sends free interfaith spiritual books in English ort Spanish to prisoners,

prison workers, and others who cannot…

religious
Human Kindness Foundation: Prison Ashram Project

Sends free interfaith spiritual books in English or Spanish to prisoners, prison workers, and others who cannot afford them. Books by Bo Lozoff…

Spanish
Human Rights Coaliton

HRC’s mission is to build a coalition of prisoner’s family members and “make visible to the public the injustice and abuse that are common…

human rights
Inside Books Project

all volunteer, non-profit organization sending free books and educational materials to people in prison in the state of Texas.

booksliterature
Inside Dharma 

Bi-monthly Buddhist newsletter for prisoners.

Focus on Missouri prisons. Clothing for men coming

religious
International Association of Sufism Prison Project 

A program of the IAS; also runs the Sufi Women Organization

Prison Program. Correspondence opportunities and a…

religious
International Bible Society 

Inmates can receive free on the inside Bible (English or Spanish )

and a booklet for women or men. No large print…

religious
International Community Corrections Association (ICCA)

Publishes the ICCA Journal on Community Corrections, as well as various newsletters. Also puts out a directory of residential programs every 3-4…

residential programs
International Community Corrections Association (ICCA)

Publishes the ICCA Journal on Community Corrections ,

as well as various newsletters. Also puts out a directory…

social support
International Prison Watch Project

An international coalition of advocates dedicated to shedding a spotlight inside our prison walls.

 
Internationalist Prison Books Collective

Volunteer collective that sends books to prisoners in Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of North Carolina. Has fiction as well as political and…

booksliterature
Islamic Center 

Free Koran and study guides. Will send through

chaplain.

religious
Islamic Center of Springfield Missouri 

Provides free Qur’an and will write letters to

prison authorities and to politicians about conditions…

religious
Islamic Education Center

Free Koran and beginner or advanced study

guides. Can do return mail care of the

chaplain. Provides written information in

books
Islamic Education Center 

Free Koran and beginner or advanced study guides.

Can do return mail care of the chaplain.

religious
Jewish Prisoner Services International

Chaplaincy and social services organization for Jewish prisoners, their family members, and releasees only. Will provide Jewish religious…

Hebrew
Jewish Prisoner Services International 

Emergency Collect Phone: 206-528-0363

‘Chaplaincy and social services organization

for…

religious
Justice Now

Focuses soley on the needs of women prisoners. They work on alternative `sentencing, document human rights abuses in prison, and their Building a…

women
Justice Watch

Works to eliminate classism and racism from prisons and opposes the death penalty. Operates Garden Street Transitional House for parolees….

parole
Justice Watch 

Works to eliminate classism and racism from prisons and opposes death penalty.

Operates Garden Street Transitional…

Post-release services
Justice Works Community 

Sponsors “Mothers in Prison, Children in Crisis” Sponsors “Mothers in Prison, Children in Crisis” campaign to end mandatory minimum sentencing for…

family
Justice Works!

Focuses on racism in the criminal justice system in Washington state. Newsletter, correspondence classes, court watch and advocacy on specific…

 
Justice: Denied

Magazine for the wrongfully convicted. Publishes prisoners’ stories only.

wrongfully convicted
keeping the Faith: The Prison Project

Founded in 1995, “Keeping the Faith: The Prison Project” is a series of workshops with incarcerated women in WA, MA, FL, and Brazil focusing on…

writing
La Raza Centro Legal Inc. 

Resources and possible legal referrals for INS detainees in Northern California. We are not able to help with criminal or other civil matters….

legal
Latino Commission on AIDS 

Provides education and training for treatment for all those in need with the HIV virus. Offers written information and resources in Spanish.

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS,latino
Legal Action Center 

Non-profit organization providing free legal services to formerly

incarcerated people, recovering alcoholics,…

legal
Legal Aid Society Prisoner’s Rights Project

Priority is to address guard brutality and sexual abuse, other unsafe physical conditions, disability discrimination, lack of mental health and…

legal
Lesbian AIDS Project

Information and support for women and lesbians living with HIV.

LGBTQI
Lewisburg Prison Project 

Publishes a number of low-cost materials for prisoners, including “legal Bulletins”, “Prisoner’s Guide to Federal Parole”, and “Due Process…

legal
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners

Mails free reading materials to prisoners in every state except California and Texas. Does not send to city or county jails.

books
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners

c/o Iron Rail Book Collective. Serves all states except California and Texas. Ask for a few general types or categories of books. Limit to one…

booksliterature
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Mississippi Office

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is an organization of Afrikans in America/New Afrikans whose mission is to defend the human rights of our people…

human rights
Malcom X Grassroots Movement Alabama Office

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is an organization of Afrikans in America/New Afrikans whose mission is to defend the human rights of our people…

human rights
Malcom X Grassroots Movement California Office

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is an organization of Afrikans in America/New Afrikans whose mission is to defend the human rights of our people…

human rights
Malcom X Grassroots Movement Georgia Office

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is an organization of Afrikans in America/New Afrikans whose mission is to defend the human rights of our people…

human rights
Malcom X Grassroots Movement NYC office

The Malcom X Grassrots Movement is an organization of Afrikans in America/New Afrikans whose missions is to defend the human rights of our people…

human rights
Maoist International Movement

MIM is a revolutionary anti-imperialist group

fighting criminal injustice, helping prisoners

to organize and educate themselves. Sends…

prisoner support
Mennonite Central Committee, US Office of Justice and Peace

Free publications for prisoners and their families

publications
Mettanokit Outreach

Native American circles in 9 prisons in New England. Booklet describing the program and post-prison group called Ending Violent Crime.

post-release
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)–National Office 

Has regional offices in GA, IL, TX, CA, and DC. Largest latino civil rights organization. MALDEF litigates large class action cases; can not take…

legal
Microcosm Publishing

Write for catalog. Offers 50% discount to prisoners on some titles.  Stamps accepted for payment

booksliterature
Middle Ground Prison Reform 

Working for Arizona’s prisoners and their families since 1983. Main areas of activity are: 1) public education about the need for criminal justice…

Spanish
Midwest Books to Prisoners

Free books to Midwest prisoners.

booksliterature
Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project

Great resource for queer studies, gender and sexuality. No California prisoner requests.

booksliterature
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc. 

Non-profit law firm which deals only with cases of obvious race discrimination, handles small # of death penalty & life w/o parole cases.

legal
NAACP National Prison Project

Works on ex-felon re-enfranchisement and racial disparities within the criminal justice system as well as provide the incarcerated with a vehicle…

 
NAACP National Prison Project 

Works on ex-felon re-enfranchisement and racial disparities

within the criminal justice system as well as provide…

social support
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Seeks equitable services for people with severe mental illnesses. Promotes treatment alternatives to criminalization of people with severe brain…

Health Care/Medical Neglectmental health
National Center for Lesbian Rights California office

Provides legal referrals for LGBTQQI

LGBTQI
National Center for Lesbian Rights Florida Office

Provides legal resources for LGBTQQI

LGBTQI
National Center for Lesbian Rights Washington DC Office LGBTQI
National Center for Youth Law

Provides information, referrals, technical assistance, or written materials; serves as co-counsel in cases affecting a large number of children…

 
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Publishes “Lifelines”, a quarterly newspaper about what’s going on in the struggle for death penalty abolition. Does not offer legal resources….

death penalty
National Institute of Corrections

Provides the “Directory of Programs Serving Families of Adult Offenders” to prison libraries, chaplains, and prisoners’ families, not directly to…

family
National Lawyer’s Guild Prison Law Project

Published a 2005 Jailhouse Lawyers handbook, free for prisoners, on bringing Section 1983 claims alleging that constitutional rights have been…

legal
National Minority AIDS Council 

Develops leadership in communities of color to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS. Has a free online resource library. Helps community and faith-…

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
National Native American Prisoners Rights/Advocacy Coalition Native American
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Helps monitor and share information to build campaigns against immigration raids, police collaboration with immigration enforcement, abuses by…

refugee
National Prison Hospice Association 

NPHA helps to develop and implement hospices and better end-of-life care for terminally ill prisoners and their families. Also publishes a…

Health Care/Medical Neglect
Nolo Press

Has free legal documents online and publishes “Legal Research”, which gives step-by-step instructions in finding legal information such as how to…

literature
Northern California Service League

Provides job placement assistance to parolees and transitional housing for women and children.

Post-release services
Outlook on Justice

A newsletter of the American Friends Services Committee (Quakers). $2/year for prisoners.

newsletter
Outside In

Brings free live music and performing arts presentations to prisons and juvenile detention centers in new Mexico. A great organziation to contact…

performance
Palladia Inc

Social services, transitional housing, treatment centers in NYC.

Post-release services
Partnership for Safety and Justice (formerly Western Prison Project)

Advocacy group working with prisoners, families, and grassroots groups in OR, WA, ID, MT, UT, NV, and WY. Publishes quarterly “Justice Matters” as…

support directory
Pathfinders of Oregon

Pathfinders are a cognitive restructuring/skills building process/it was designed to transform criminally deviant behavior into responsible…

rehabilitation
Pennsylvania Prison Society

Does advocacy work, including prison visits and publishes “Graterfriends,” a monthly newsletter for people in prison which is primarily inmate…

newsletter
Positively Aware

National magazine on HIV/AIDS. Covers treatment, social issues, financial,and legal matters. Free subscriptions to prisoners. Spanish language…

publications
Prison and Jail Project

Monitors prison and jail conditions in SW Georgia only. Publishes the newsletter “Freedom Ways.”

newsletter
Prison and Jail Project

Monitors prison and jail conditions in SW Georgia only, publises the newsletter “Freedom Ways”

newsletter
Prison Art Project

Provides an online outlet for the sale of crafts and artwork created by prisoners. Do not submit original art. Send a SASE for a free brochure and…

Art
Prison Book Program

Does not send books to CA, MA, MD, MI, PA, KY, LA, NV or TX.  Offers a free 6-page 

booksLGBTQI,literature
Prison Book Project

Serves prisoners in New England and TX only. Request books by subject. No mailing list or catalogue; no hardback books.

booksliterature
Prison Calls Online / OCS Prison Calls

Helps families pay less for their collect prison calls.

family
Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP)

PCAP facilitates fine arts, creative writin, and theatre workshops in juvenile detention centers and prisons. Organizes/curates annual art exhibit…

performance
Prison Dharma Network

Mission is to provide prisoners, and those who work with them, with the most effective contemplative tools for self-transformation and…

rehabilitation
Prison Fellowship

Prison Fellowship partners with local churches across the country to minister to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. Publishes a variety…

publications
Prison Fellowship 

Prison Fellowship partners with local churches across the

country to minister to prisoners,ex-…

religious
Prison Health News 

Quarterly newsletter published by former prisoners about prisoners’ health.

Health Care/Medical Neglect
Prison Law Office

Litigates and monitors class action law suits regarding medical care, mental health care, and disabled access for prisoners in CA only. Also…

disability rights,Health Care/Medical Neglectlegal
Prison Legal News

An independent monthly publication started by prisoners that reports, reviews, and analyzes news related to prisoner rights and prison issues….

publications
Prison Place

Started by an ex-prisoner, this website is a place for friends and families of those on the inside to communicate and support each other.

 
Prison Place 

Started by an ex-prisoner, this website is a place

for friends and families of those on the inside …

social support
Prison Program at Buddhist Peace Fellowship

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship Prison Project provides ministry to help prisoners develop skills to meet everyday violence in prison. Also has…

meditation
Prison Reform Unity Project

We are a national group of people who work on prison reform issues and urgent inmate needs and when possible helping parolees with re-entry issues…

family
Prison University Project

Provides excellent higher education programs to people incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison; to create a replicable model for such programs;…

public education
Prisoner Express

Sends books nationwide. Promotes rehabilitation by offering inmates information, education and the opportunity for creative self-expression in a…

booksliterature
Prisoner Legal Services San Francisco Sheriff’s Department 

Provides legal information, assistance and advocacy to prisoners in the San Francisco County Jail system. Limited information available in Spanish…

legal
Prisoner Self Help Legal Clinic 

Supports prisoners’ efforts at self-litigation with educational resources. Provides services in Spanish and English.

legal
Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS)

Provides institutional visits to prisoners only in federal and military prisons nationwide. Limited services for Spanish-speaking prisoners.

family
Prisoners Literature Project

No Texas or Oregon requests. Request by

subject. Stamps or donations greatly

appreciated.

books
Prisoners’ Guerilla Handbook to Correspondence Programs in teh US & Canada by Jon Marc Taylor

212 program profiles, listing tuition rates, time limits, courses offered, degree programs, accreditation, and much more. “Any prisoner seeking to…

publications
Prisons Foundation

Prisons Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that promotes the arts and education in prison and alternatives to…

Art
Project for Older Prisoners

Law students interview and evaluate older and geriatric inmates in obtaining parole or other forms of release from incarceration. Operates in five…

older prisoners
Project Inform 

Provides HIV and AIDS hotline at 800-822- 7422 and publications on HIV/AIDS. Se habla espanol.

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
Project Rebound c/o Associated Students Inc.

SFSU program for formerly incarcerated people to enroll in college.

support service
Project Rebound c/o Associated Students inc. 

SFSU program for formerly incarcerated people to enroll in college.

Post-release services
Project Return Center

Post release housing and case management in Tampa, FL.

re-entry
Project Return of Louisiana

Call for updated address–this organization was displaced by Hurrican Katrina. Provides a prison aftercare program, 90 day residential, and…

transitional program
Publicaciones Legales en Espanol, Inc.

Publications in English/Spanish and Spanish only.

Spanish
Real Cost of Prisons Project 

RCPP works to expand the organizing capacity of people and communities struggling to end mass incarceration. Will send comic books “Prisoners of…

 
Rock of Ages Prison Ministry 

Free King James Bible, correspondence course.

Offers New Testament study course through the PBI.

religious
San Francisco AIDS Foundation 

HIV/AIDS hotline at 800- 367-AIDS for CA prisoners only. Publishes “BETA,” available in Spanish and English.

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership. 

2.4 million U.S. children have a parent behind bars today. The partnership formed to improve the lives of incarcerated children and to demand a “…

family
Set My Way Free, Inc

A ministry assisting prisoners in proofreading pro se litigation

papers and in writing parole plans for a small…

religious
Sex Abuse Treatment Alliance

Info, resources, contacts, and support to individuals, families, defense attorneys, treatment providers, and professionals who work with issues of…

rehabilitation
South Dakota Prisoner Support Group

FOllowing a rash of deaths in South Dakota prisons, the PSG was formed to support people on the inside, ex-prsioners, family, and friends, and to…

Native American
South End Press

Radical publisher with wide range selections, including 1994 anthology (Criminal Injustice) edited by PARC founder Eli Rosenblatt. 50% discount to…

booksliterature
Southern Center for Human Rights

Founded in 1976 to 1) fight the death penalty and 2) challenge cruel and unconstitutional treatment of imprisoned men, women, and children…

legal
Southern Poverty Law Center

Publishes “Protecting Your Health and Safety” (cost $10, includes shipping), written for prisoners. Legal defense of rights to medical care,…

legal
St. Patrick Friary

Counseling provided at Attica, Wyoming, Collins, Orleans, Albion, Groveland, Gowanda, & Rochester prisons. Post release services include…

job training
St. Patrick Friary 

Group counseling provided at Attica, Wyoming, Collins, Orleans, Albion,

Groveland, Gowanda and Rochester prisons…

Post-release services
Stanley Tookie Williams Legacy Network

Stan Tookie Williams was the co-founder of the Los Angeles Crips. In 1981 he was convicted of murdering four people and sentenced to death row at…

death penalty
SUNY Binghamton Prisoner Support Group/OFF! Magazine

A small grassroots group that works directly with prisoners based on their individual needs. Offers legal materials, correspondence, literature,…

publications
Supportive Housing and Innovative Partnerships 

Clean and sober housing, therapeutic community program, alternative to

sentencing, life skills program, drop-in…

Post-release services
SYDA Foundation Yoga Prison Project

Mails monthly free newsletter and the “Siddha Yoga Home Study Course” to any inmate that requests it.

publication
SYDA FOundation Yoga Prison Project 

Mails monthly free newsletter and the Siddha Yoga

Home Study Course to any inmate that request it.

religious
Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Provides free legal services to transgender and gender nonconforming low-income people and people of color. Only available in NY and surrounding…

legal
Test Positive Aware Network 

HIV/AIDS publication, “Positively Aware” is a national magazine covering HIV/AIDS treatment, research, news, and profiles of people living with…

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Write to report incidents of discrimination.

legal
The Graduate Group

Publishes a book called “A Guide to Successful Plea Bargaining.”

publications
The Incarcerated Mothers Program Edwin Gould Services for Children

Provides advocacy, foster care prevention, counseling, and vocational training. Also runs “Achievers’ Girls and Boys Shine” program for children…

family
The Innocence Project (National)

A national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating

wrongfully convicted people through…

legal
The Insight Prison Project

Communication training in nonviolence in correctional facilities; expanding to include post-release training.

rehabilitation
The Jericho Movement

The Jericho Movement is a political prisoner support group working towards prison abolition.

 
The National Center on Institiutions and Alternatives (NCIA)

NCIA offers parole advocacy services to inmates seeking parole, transfer between institutions, or death penalty mitigations.

parole
The Network/La RED Ending Abuse in Lesbian, Bisexual Women’s and Transgender Communities

Services include confidential hotline, emergency shelter, advocacy, and free support groups for lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender folks…

LGBTQI
The November Coalition

An organization of drug war prisoners and their loved ones. Their goal is to enlighten the public about unjust sentencing laws and the destructive…

war on drugs
The Other Death Penalty Project 

A national, grassroots, organizing campaign founded and managed by life without the possibility of parole prisoners with  the goal of ending the…

death penalty
The Paralegal Institute

Associate degree program. Accredited by Distance Education Training Council. Registered with National Association of Legal Assistants.

legal
The Prison Library Project

Free books on self-help, personal and spiritual growth, wellness, metaphysical, fiction and non-fiction. No law or technical books. Delivers to…

booksliterature
The Safer Society Foundation

A national research, advocacy, and referral center on the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse. Provides referral services for therapists in…

sexual abuse
The School of Paralegal Studies Professional Career Development 

Offers a correspondence course.

legal
The Sentencing Project

“Publications on drug policy, voting rights, juvenile justice, sentencing law and policy, racial disparities, and women prisoners.” Free download…

women
The Sentencing Project 

Write for list of publications & prices. “Publications on drug policy,

voting rights, juvenile justice,…

social support
Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

Provides legal services to transgender and gender non-conforming people targeted by the criminal legal system; will send resources and provides…

LGBTQI
Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex (TGI) Justice Project

The TGI Justice Project works mainly with prisoners in CA; they work on alternative sentencing, writing advocacy letters trying to help…

LGBTQI
Triune Arts

Educational resource for restorative justice programs; intended to raise public awareness of an alternative to the existing justice system’s…

restorative justice
Urbana-Champagne Books to Prisoners Project

Sends various books to state & federal prisoners in Illinois. Has large selection of novels.

booksliterature
Visions for Prisons: Peace in Prison Project

VFP sponsors volunteers around the world and offers prison volunteers training.

They also promote a prison non-…

social support
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners Project

Sends books to prisoners in WI.

books
Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance

Forum for public discourse about the ways that incarceration affects women’s lives and the work that people are doing to dismantle systems of…

women
Women’s Prison Association and Hooper Home

Provides foster care prevention, counseling, and housing placement assistance.

family
Women’s Prison Book Project women
WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases) 

Provides information and educational support for women and families infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Some spanish resources available.

Health Care/Medical NeglectHIV/AIDS
World Service Meditation Group

Offers free meditation lessons and free study materials based on the idea that use of the human mind is the doorway to deeper realities, an…

meditation
Zine World

Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press. An extensive guide to zine culture, reviews zines and other DIY publications.

publication

Occupy London – Sweden’s Other Rape Suspects: By Naomi Wolf

 


Sweden’s Other Rape Suspects: By Naomi Wolf

NEW YORK – It is difficult for me, as an advocate against rape and other forms of violence against women, to fathom the laziness and willful ignorance that characterize so much of the media coverage of the sexual-assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. To report that we are simply witnessing Swedish justice at work, one must be committed to doing no research – not even the bare minimum of picking up a phone. In fact, we are witnessing a bizarre aberration in the context of Sweden’s treatment of sex crime – a case that exposes the grim reality of indifference, or worse, that victims there and elsewhere face.

If I were raped in Uppsala, where Assange is alleged to have committed his crime, I could not expect top prosecutors to lobby governments to arrest my assailant. On the contrary, “ordinary” Swedish rapists and abusers of women should assume that the police might not respond when called. When I tried the rape-crisis hotline at the government-run Crisis Center for Women in Stockholm, no one even picked up – and there was no answering machine.

According to rape-crisis advocates in Sweden, one-third of Swedish women have been sexually assaulted by the time they leave their teens. Indeed, according to a study published in 2003, and other later studies through 2009, Sweden has the highest sexual-assault rate in Europe, and among the lowest conviction rates.

When I reached the Stockholm branch of Terrafem, a support organization for rape survivors, a volunteer told me that in her many years of experience, Sweden’s police, prosecutors, and magistrates had never mobilized in pursuit of any alleged perpetrator in ways remotely similar to their pursuit of Assange. The far more common scenario – in fact, the only reliable scenario – was that even cases accompanied by a significant amount of evidence were seldom prosecuted.

This, she explained, was because most rapes in Uppsala, Stockholm, and other cities occur when young women meet young men online and go to an apartment, where, as in the allegations in the Assange case, what began as consensual sex turns nonconsensual. But she said that this is exactly the scenario that Swedish police typically refuse to prosecute. Just as everywhere else, Sweden’s male-dominated police, she explained, do not tend to see these victims as “innocent,” and thus do not bother building a case for arrest.

She is right: According to a report by Amnesty International, as of 2008, the number of reported rapes in Sweden had quadrupled in 20 years, but only 20% of cases were ever prosecuted. And, while the prosecution rate constituted a minimal improvement on previous years, when less than 15% of cases ended up in court, the conviction rate for reported rapes “is markedly lower today than it was in 1965.” As a result, “in practice, many perpetrators enjoy impunity.”

Until 2006, women in Uppsala faced a remarkable hurdle in seeking justice: the city’s chief of police, Göran Lindberg, was himself a serial rapist, convicted in July 2010 of more than a dozen charges, including “serious sexual offenses.” One victim testified that she was told her rapist was the police chief, and that she would be framed if she told anyone about his assaults. Lindberg also served as the Police Academy’s spokesman against sexual violence. The Uppsala police force that is now investigating Assange either failed to or refused to investigate effectively the sadistic rapist with whom they worked every day.

In other words, the purported magical Swedish kingdom of female sexual equality, empowerment, and robust institutional support for rape victims – a land, conjured by Swedish prosecutors, that holds much of the global media in thrall – simply does not exist.

In the Assange case, the Swedish police supported the accusers in legally unprecedented ways – for example, by allowing them to tell their stories together and by allowing testimony from a boyfriend.But other alleged victims of gender-based abuse, sometimes in life-threatening circumstances, typically receive very different treatment.In particular, according to WAVE, a pan-European consortium of service providers for rape and sexual-abuse survivors, when migrants, who comprise 13.8% of Sweden’s population, report rape and abuse, they face high systemic hurdles in even telling their stories to police – including longstanding linguistic barriers in communicating with them at all.

Likewise, Swedish intake centers for victims of male violence are woefully underfunded – like all support services for rape and abuse victims across Europe and North America – leaving many women who face threats to their safety and that of their children waiting for unavailable places in shelters. When I emailed the Rape Crisis support institute in Uppsala, listed by the global rape-crisis organization RAINN, I received an automatic reply saying that the facility was temporarily closed.

So, for most raped Swedish women, the shelters are full, the hotlines inactive, and the police selectively look the other way – that is, unless they are busy chasing down a globally famous suspect.

We have been here before. Last year, when my left-wing colleagues were virtually unanimous in believing the New York Police Department’s narrative of a certain victim and a guilty-before-due-process rapist, I made the same call – to the local rape-crisis center. There, Harriet Lesser, who works every day with victims whose alleged attacker is not the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, confirmed that the official support shown for the victim – in advance of any investigation – was indeed unprecedented.

Let me be clear: I am not saying that Assange, much less Dominique Strauss-Kahn, committed no crime against women. Rather, Assange’s case, as was true with Strauss-Kahn’s, is being handled so differently from how the authorities handle all other rape cases that a corrupted standard of justice clearly is being applied. These aberrations add insult to the injury of women, undefended and without justice, who have been raped in the “normal” course of events – by violent nobodies.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf