Sunday, August 22, 2010

SAUDI ARABIA - A Spine For A Spine

Once again, let's hear it for Saudi Arabian justice!

It seems the doctors don't object to this.  Just remember that the next time you go into surgery.

And perhaps just as alarming (to me, anyway) Amnesty International, of which I am a member, is suggesting that he just be fined or flogged.  I have already posted in this blog about flogging.  Go figure.

SAUDI ARABIA: Human rights group urges authorities to flog crime suspect instead of imposing spinal cord punishment

August 21, 2010 | 7:30 am

You know a country's human rights situation is bad when even Amnesty International is urging that a guy be methodically whipped or caned on his back as a compromise to avoid an even harsher sentence.

Human rights monitors have grown alarmed over the case of a Saudi man who might have his spinal cord severed as punishment for badly injuring another guy during a fight a few years ago.

Amnesty International has urged Saudi Arabian authorities not to deliberately paralyze the man as a form of retribution for injuries he allegedly caused with a cleaver during a fight.

"We urge the Saudi Arabian authorities not to carry out such a punishment, which amounts to nothing less than torture," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, acting director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Program, said in a statement. "While those guilty of a crime should be held accountable, intentionally paralyzing a man in this way would constitute torture, and be a breach of its international human rights obligations."

According to Amnesty International, a court in the northwestern Saudi Arabian town of Tabuk had asked hospitals whether they could mutilate the man's spinal cord as requested by his alleged victim. One hospital apparently said it could create the injury.

Amnesty said the court could decide not to impose the punishment and instead sentence the suspect to jail, hand him a stiff a fine or at the very worst, systematically whip or cane him on the back.

Basically, Amnesty, among the world's leading human rights groups, is advocating one form of torture in place of an even more horrific punishment.

The man's name has not been publicized. He was originally sentenced to seven months in prison. Amnesty says he was tried without a lawyer.

-- Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

USA - Pea In Lung

Two posts in one day.  These things usually come in threes.  We'll see.

I heard on the news about this dude who had a pea growing in his lung.  That was too good to ignore so I goggled on "pea plant in lung."  Yups, here's gramps and gramma,  too, discussing this weirdness. Honest, I couldn't make this up. How could he aspirate something as big as a pea?  From NBC New Health Check

Since a stroke a while back, I have some trouble aspirating food. I guess I'll be very careful to cough it all up, especially when eating raw seed things. And I might stop eating radish seeds entirely.

CAMEROON - Breast Ironing

How many worthy causes can one person handle?  This is the strangest I've gotten in a while.  It definitely is tragic;  it also qualifies as weird.

Feel free to take action.

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Hi Mai,

Lots of women have mixed feelings about their breasts. We push them up, strap them down...but at the end of the day, they're a part of our bodies and ourselves. Unfortunately, mothers in Cameroon have waged war against these buds of womanhood.

In an attempt to prevent sexual violence and curb teen pregnancy, Cameroon mothers are ironing their daughters' breasts. »

Girls' breasts are pressed on with hot stones to make them less attractive, a painful procedure than can cause bruises, deformities, abscesses, and even the disappearance of one or both breasts. Breast ironing starts at the first onset of puberty, and as diet in Cameroon improves, girls are starting puberty at a younger age. Girls as young as nine are having hot stones pressed against their breasts. »

Mothers may think breast ironing is "for their [daughters'] own good," but it's not a replacement for adequate sex education. Urge the UN Secretary General to speak out against breast ironing and advocate for sex education in Cameroon. »

Thanks for taking action!


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