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October 3, 2016: Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu on Thursday jailed a feminist activist for her support of campaigns for the rights of women and children, as her brother revealed that she was tortured and mistreated while in police detention.
Shan Lihua was handed a two-year and three-month prison sentence by the Gangzha District People’s Court in Jiangsu’s Nantong city, which found her guilty of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” her brother told RFA.
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The indictment against her cited her “concern” over the 2013 rapes of schoolgirls in the southern island province of Hainan by a headteacher and a deputy principal and in the detention and beating of rights activist Ye Haiyan who launched an online protest against child sex abuse.
Perhaps more tellingly, it listed her photographing of “excessive food consumption” by officials in her home district of Gangzha as another form of alleged troublemaking.
Shan protested her innocence in court before being led away, saying it ran counter to the emphasis of “rule of law” under President Xi Jinping, defense lawyer Zhang Chengmao told RFA.
He said Shan had already indicated she would appeal during their last meeting before the sentencing.
“She says she’s innocent, and she’s going to appeal because the court found her guilty,” Zhang said.
Shan’s brother Shan Ronghua said his sister was beaten “until she couldn’t stand” while in the local police-run detention center, and left lying on a concrete floor with no water to drink. She was also subjected to verbal abuse and humiliation, he said.
‘A bunch of total thugs’
He said Shan had shouted out as she was being hastily removed from the court chamber: “You are a bunch of total thugs, who will be shamed by history. Everything you do is inhuman!”
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“Then she was dragged out,” he said.
Shan Ronghua said security outside the court buildings was tight on the morning of the sentencing hearing, which lasted around 10 minutes.
“There were 36 seats in the courtroom, with 30 of them taken up by government officials,” he said. “There were secret police outside the court and police cars at nearby intersections.”
Fellow rights activist Ding Hongfen said Shan is innocent.
“Everything she did was in the public interest, in the hope of monitoring corruption in the judiciary and law-enforcement,” Ding said. “She was also involved in educating ordinary people about the law.”
Ding said nothing listed in the indictment amounts to a crime under Chinese law.
“Everything she ever did was good, but we have an appalling situation when it comes to the rule of law in China … and it’s always the innocent who suffer, not the real criminals.”
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Since he became president in 2013, Xi has launched a nationwide crackdown on official corruption, warning members of the ruling Chinese Communist Party to cut out conspicuous wining and dining on public funds.
But his insistence on the “rule of law” came as state security police unleashed an unprecedented campaign against the Chinese legal profession, detaining lawyers and rights activists in large numbers and issuing ever tighter restrictions on their professional role.(BBG Direct)
The Mysore kingdom became a popular tourist destination after India became an independent country. The Wodeyar dynasty who succeeded Tipu Sultan are still royalty, but they do not rule the state. Their heritage and culture have become what Karnataka is famous for.
Among the many things that Mysore offers to the state of Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is one. In north India, various cultures have their own headgears. They wear their traditional outfits on the days of festivities and ceremonies. Likewise, in the south, especially in Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is worn.
Made of the traditional Mysore silk, the Peta is usually a white turban decorated with a gold silk thread. It is worn by the Maharaja of Mysore during Dasara, or any other public appearance. This tradition has been preserved and is used all over the state by prominent leaders.
Politicians who want to appease older, more experienced politicians, offer a peta as a sign of honour. International guests are welcomed into the city with a peta and silk shawl. In universities, the peta is worn as a replacement to the black caps, as a sign of graduation and scholarship.
Even today, in the court of Mysore, petas are worn and given out as tokens of honour. The peta of the king varies from the ones a courtier wears, and even among them, there is a difference according to status. Petas are made by a particular family and passed down from generation to generation.
Keywords: Mysore kingdom, peta, silk, Wodeyar
Renowned feminist activist, author, and a face of the women's rights movement in India, Kamla Bhasin, passed away today morning at the age of 74.
The news of the same was shared by activist Kavita Srivastava on Twitter. The tweet said, "Kamla Bhasin, our dear friend, passed away around 3am today 25th Sept. This is a big setback for the women's movement in India and the South Asian region. She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief."
Bhasin, since the 1970s, has been an advocate of women's movement not just in India but other South Asian countries as well. In fact, in 2002, she founded a feminist network named as 'Sangat', which only motive was to work with underprivileged women from rural and tribal communities, often by using non-literary tools like plays, songs, and art.
Having a Master's degree in literature, Bhasin has written many books on gender theory and feminism, and interestingly, many of them have been translated into more than 30 languages. Another quick fact revolving around Bhasin is that the chant of 'Azadi', which is often heard at protests and rallies, was first popularised by her as feminist slogan against patriarchy.
Bhasin was awarded with the "Laadli Life Time Achievement Award" in the year 2017 for her commendable work.
Keywords: Kamla Bhasin, Feminism, India, Patriarchy, Literature, Feminist, Women, Rights
The 76th United Nations General Assembly session opened discussion on 14th September. The high-level General debate began on 21st September and it will continue till 27th September. The agenda of this year's UNGA session is 'Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations'. Only 109 heads of state and government will attend the session in person and approximately 60 other speakers will address the debate via pre-recorded video statements due to the ongoing pandemic.
PM Narendra Modi is the first world leader who has been scheduled to address the General Assembly. He landed in New York at 6:00 AM (IST). "Landed in New York City. Will be addressing the UNGA at 6:30 PM (IST) on the 25th," he tweeted. He was received at the airport by India's permanent representative to the UN ambassador Mr. T S Tirumurti and ambassador of India to the USA Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
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Before leaving for US PM Modi said, "I will be visiting the USA from 22-25 September 2021 at the invitation of His Excellency President Joe Biden of the United States of America. During my visit, I will review the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with President Biden and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest".
During his 5-day visit to the US PM Modi held his first bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden in the oval office of the white house. It was their first in-person meet-up after meeting on virtual mode on three different occasions. He also held a meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris joined by the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison and Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga. He held one on one meeting with the CEOs of some top companies like Qualcomm, Adobe, First Solar, General Atomics, and Blackstone. PM Modi participated in the Quad Summit held on Friday, in which the fight against Covid, climate change counterterrorism, along free and open Indo-Pacific, were the key concerns of the discussion. He also took part in Covid-19 Global Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden. Pakistan's role in terrorism was also heavily discussed
PM held a meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris joined by the Prime Minister of Australia and Japan. Twitter
Today, 25th September 2021 PM Narendra Modi will address the 76th UNGA session at 6:30 PM (IST) which will be live-streamed on various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. PM Modi will talk about issues concerning pressing global challenges which will include the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change, and other important issues. It was in 2019 when PM Modi addressed the UN General Assembly physically as the pandemic went global in 2020, the 75th UNGA was held online where the speakers pre-recorded their speeches. In 2021, the option to pre-record statements has been kept open for the world leaders as the pandemic is worsening in some countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly back to India after addressing the United Nations General Assembly.