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The rights of Afghan women are at risk again

A council of clerics has put forward a series of recommendations to President Karzai that would drastically restrict women’s rights in Afghanistan. Activists fear the government might bow too easily to the pressure.

“Women are a by-product of creation,” states a declaration put last week by a senior council of Islamic scholars and mullahs to President Hamid Karzai for implementation. The recommendations of the Ulema Council, which has some 3,000 members, stipulate further that women should accept the leading role of men in all walks of life, without resistance.

Date

07.03.2012 | 16:36

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‘Pakistan’s first Oscar is ‘a triumph for Pakistani women’

Documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has become the first Pakistani to win an Oscar ever. Her short film ‘Saving Face’ looks at the issue of acid attacks on women in Pakistan.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy became the first Pakistani to ever win an Oscar on Sunday. She and her American co-director Daniel Junge won the coveted prize for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for “Saving Face.”

The documentary chronicles the lives of two acid attack survivors, Zakia and Rukhsana, and the arduous task to bring their assailants to justice. It also focuses on the work of British-Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad, who moved to Pakistan to help restore the faces and lives of acid attack survivors.

Date

28.02.2012 | 7:18

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Mob burns woman accused of being a ‘witch’

A 40-year-old woman was burned alive on Friday after a mob accused her of casting black magic spells in a remote village in southern Nepal, police said.


Dengani Mahato died after she was severely beaten, doused in kerosene and set alight for allegedly practising witchcraft, Gopal Bhandari, a superintendent of police in Chitwan district, told AFP. “Nine people started to beat her after a local shaman pointed the finger at her over the death of a boy a year ago,” the officer said. “They accused her of having something to do with the death of the boy, who had drowned in a river.”

Bhandari said the shaman and the nine locals suspected of taking part in the crime had been arrested on suspicion of murder.  “They poured kerosene and threw straw over her and then set fire to her. No one came to her rescue. By the time we heard about it, she had already died,” he told AFP.

Date

20.02.2012 | 9:57

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Berlinale honors Streep’s lifetime achievements

From fragile to commanding, Meryl Streep has played roles in films that have set off scandals and wide-ranging cultural debates. Particularly in Germany, where she will receive an Honorary Golden Bear at the Berlinale.

In its annual search for glamour, the German press regularly complains that the Berlin International Film Festival doesn’t attract enough top movie stars. But this year’s whining has been kept to a minimum thanks to an Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement being awarded to Meryl Streep on Tuesday.

Streep, 62, has continued her string of success recently, having earned an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe for her role as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film “The Iron Lady.”

Date

20.02.2012 | 8:55

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The lonely girl and the giraffe

Indonesian film “Postcards from the Zoo” has been selected for the final competition at the Berlin film festival. The film narrates the story of a girl who is abandoned by her father and grows up in a zoo.

The title of the film is “Kebun Binatang”, in Bhasa Indonesia, the Indonesian language. It means “Postcards from the Zoo.” In an interview for the Berlinale, Edwin, the director of the film, explains why he chose to use the word “postcards” in the title. He says, “I suppose the word ‘postcards’ comes from the way I perceive cinema. I enjoy fragmentary films that are able to break free from their own structures, films that allow the viewer to exit the narrative, invoking or triggering memories of personal experience.”

Date

17.02.2012 | 10:16

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