Posts Tagged ‘murder’

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I’m waiting for my Son to die. At least in Heaven there’s food.


Compassion fatigue?


Distracted by the Winter Olympics closing ceremony? Massacres in American schools? Trump’s latest tweet? Football?

What will it take to make you sit up and take notice?

Perhaps this. Warning: distressing.

#assad #syria #russia #civilians #children

If you want to share this story, which is something you could to do immediately to raise awareness of this utter disgrace, please cut and paste the link at the end of this sentence, and post it to your Facebook page or wherever:


There appears to be some success in the outpouring of anger over Russia and Assad’s behaviour. Please KEEP sharing this story as often and as creatively as you can to ensure that pressure is kept up.?






At Wellthisiswhatithink we have often bemoaned the brutalisation of politics. The way “anti politics” has become the new norm. A politics which is little more than cynicism, mistrust, name-calling and sloganising. It is seen most clearly and more than ever in the mindless forwarding of memes that brook no discussion, because no discussion is possible.

Those with an agenda to drive will accuse this blog of descending into vitriol on occasion. We reject that accusation. Politics is a serious matter, and you cannot “do” politics without disputation. Indeed, disputation – the contest of ideas – is the very core of freedom. And if we have, and it can be demonstrated, then we will recant and apologise.

But there is a difference – a gulf – between healthy disputation and hatred. And hatred has become the new normal, and relatively recently, too.

Whether it is in America, France, Denmark, Norway, the UK or Australia. Whether it is a discussion of guns, of racism, gay rights, of female emancipation, the European Union, or, most obviously, immigration, refugees and specifically Islam. The attitude that “you are with me, 100%, or you are evil and worthy of whatever abuse I choose to throw your way” has taken deep root. With the ascension of Trumpism, most obviously, we see how the inchoate mass rage generated by mindless sloganeering translates into political power, and then political violence. Democracy is a fragile flower, and it is wilting.

This article discussing Jo Cox’s assassination – for that is what it was – says it better than we can. We strongly recommend you read it. Because hatred is never funny. Hatred is never smart. Hatred is never right. Hatred is never appropriate.

Sure, “politics is a contact sport.” It doesn’t have to be murder.

In slightly better news, #ThankYourMP is trending in the UK. Many people simply saying thank you to their MP, whether or not they vote for them. Well done, whoever thought that up.

The young girl, who sustained more than 90 percent burns in Monday’s attack, died in hospital early Wednesday, the investigating officer told AFP.

“Unfortunately she could not be saved despite the best efforts of the medical staff,” said Ashwani Kumar.

“We have arrested the accused, who is 19 years old and sent him to judicial custody. An investigation is on to find out more about the motive and details of the crime,” he said.

The accused has been charged with a slew of offences including rape and murder, Kumar said.

“The body has been sent for postmortem. We are waiting for the report.”

Media reports quoted the girl’s father as saying the suspect lived nearby in their village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and that he had been harassing his daughter for a year despite several warnings.

Women’s rights activists accuse police of often overlooking complaints of stalking, which they say only emboldens the perpetrators.

The fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in Delhi in 2012 shone a global spotlight on the frightening levels of violence against women in India.

Her death from injuries sustained during the brutal assault sparked some of the biggest demonstrations in India’s recent history, which intensified after being broken up by heavy-handed police tactics.

It triggered deep soul-searching about the treatment of women in a country where rape victims are often stigmatised and frequently pressured by police and relatives to drop allegations.

It also led to major reform of India’s rape laws, including speeding up of trials and increased penalties for offenders, but a very high numbers of assaults persist.

Last month, police arrested two men for shooting dead a 14-year-old girl who resisted their advances in Uttar Pradesh state. Also in February, incredibly, a teenage rape victim was sexually assaulted for a second time while in hospital receiving treatment for the initial attack in eastern Jharkhand state.

Italian PhD student researching in Egypt, suffered inhuman, animal-like torture, a dozen of broken bones, before violent death

Doctoral student Giulio Regeni was carrying out research on independent trade unions at the time of his death. Picture: Facebook

An Italian doctoral student conducting fieldwork in Egypt was tortured and heavily beaten for days before his neck was broken, killing him.

The body of doctoral student Giulio Regeni was found naked from the waist down, in a ditch near a highway outside Cairo, six days ago on February 2 – nine days after he was reported missing. His body was showing evidence of ‘inhumane and animal-like torture’ indicating a slow, horrific death, according to a post-mortem.

The 28-year-old Italian national was studying for a PhD at the University of Cambridge, in the UK. He was carrying out research on the formation of independent trade unions in post-Mubarak Egypt, at the time of his death.


The body of Italian PhD student was found in a ditch nine days after he was reported missing. Picture: Facebook

The body of Italian PhD student was found in a ditch nine days after he was reported missing. Picture: Facebook

After reviewing autopsy results, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Mr Regeni had suffered “something inhuman, animal-like and unacceptable violence,” The Telegraph reported.

Italy’s ambassador in Cairo Maurizio Massari said he was devastated by the condition of Mr Regeni’s body, which had more than two dozen broken bones, as well as bruises and burn marks, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

“There is no doubt that the young man was heavily beaten and tortured,” Ambassador Massari said.

Mr Regeni was living in Cairo to do research for a Cambridge University doctorate when he disappeared on January 25, the anniversary of the ‘Arab Spring’ – Egypt’s 2011 uprising, a wave of demonstrations and protests, riots, and civil wars in the Arab world.

He had been had been seeking contacts for trade union activists to interview as part of his research, and had published an article in the Italian leftist newspaper Il Manifesto, but under a pseudonym.

The student was last seen when he left his home with the intention of travelling by metro to meet a friend in the city centre.

Mr Regeni‘s work would have been extremely important in his field, and he had a career ahead of him as an important scholar of the region, fellow students say.

An Italian doctoral student who was classmates and flatmates with Mr Regeni in Damascus, Alessandro Columbu said he was concerned there could be a cover up of the circumstances surrounding Mr Regeni’s death, especially given Italy’s recent embrace of Egypt as an economic partner and ally in the fight against terrorism.

“Egypt and Italy are friends, and this terrible story exposes a double standard in western European foreign policy: He was abducted by security forces in central Cairo and tortured to death.

Mr Columbu added tellingly, “Unfortunately it takes a white, European to die to expose something that is happening to Egyptians all the time.”

The Italian and Egyptian authorities have announced a joint investigation into Mr Regeni’s death. Whether there is any serious attempt to uncover who killed him and why remains to be seen. We suspect not. Like so many other deaths in Egypt today, he will become just one more statistic.


A Florida man who had admitted he killed his wife and posted a photo of the body on Facebook has been found guilty of murder.

Derek Medina admitted taking the picture on his phone and uploading it onto the social media site.

He failed to convince the jury that he had shot Jennifer Alfonso (eight times) in self-defence, after years of abuse.

He said his wife was threatening him with a knife when he shot her in their home in Miami, but prosecutors said she was cowering on the floor.

When he posted the picture, he wrote on Facebook that he expected to go to prison or be sentenced to death for the killing.

Prosecutors successfully argued that the 27-year-old wife was in fear of her life when she was shot in August 2013.

He had vowed to kill her if she left him and she had told friends she intended to do that, the court heard.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Rundle said: “No family should ever have to see their daughter killed and then exhibited worldwide on the internet like some macabre trophy to a husband’s anger.”

Medina, 33, could face a life imprisonment over the murder.

At least 5,000 women are subject to honour killings every year, although it may be many more.

At least 5,000 women are subject to honour killings every year, although it may be many more.

A Turkish mother, 36, shot dead her daughter, 17, after finding out that she was three months pregnant, media reports said on Saturday.

The mother, named as Emine A., found out that her daughter Meryem A. was pregnant during a visit to neighbours, the Hurriyet daily reported.

She then went back home to find a gun and returned to shoot her daughter — who worked as a cashier in a market — five times, it said.

Bystanders outside the apartment block in the Selcuk district of the southern city of Nigde rushed to help and took Meryem to hospital but she died on the way.

The mother was detained by police but then had a nervous collapse and was hospitalised. The investigation is continuing.

Turkish authorities acknowledge there is a grave problem of violence against women in the country, although the vast majority of cases involving attacks perpetrated by men.

According to the non-governmental Platform to Stop Violence Against Women, 286 women were murdered in Turkey in 2014 and 134 so far in 2015.

(From AFP)



Regular readers will have seen our article the other day exposing the extraordinarily unlikely death by “suicide” of the prosector set to expose key members of the Argentine government as having been involved in covering up or collaborating with a terrorist bombing of a Jewish centre in 1994.

Today, reports emerge that Argentine President Kirchner – herself in the target range of the now dead prosecutor Nisman – has concurred with the widespread opinion that the brave prosecutor was murdered to prevent him bringing his case.

Other ongoing investigations show multiple ways his apartment could have been entered, and that no gunshot residue was found on his hands.

Read the full story here:

Meanwhile demonstrations continue calling for justice, with demonstrators chanting “Yo Soy Nisman” – I am Nisman – and echo of the recent “Je Suis Charlie” campaign.

An activist group which secretly documents life inside the Islamic State-controlled Syrian city of Raqqa has reported that militants publicly executed 13 teenage boys for watching the Asian Cup football match between Iraq and Jordan.

Syria Being Slaughtered Silently, quoting Jordanian news agency Petra and other unspecified Iraqi media, reported that the teenagers were rounded up and shot by firing squad in the IS-stronghold of Mosul, in northern Iraq.

According to the report, the boys were caught watching the match and were being accused of breaking Islamic principles.

In a response to IBTimes UK, the group has confirmed the executions have taken place after corroborating the information with local Iraqi activists.

“The bodies remained lying in the open and their parents were unable to withdraw them for fear of murder by terrorist organisation,” the group also wrote on their website.

Before the victims were executed, their ‘crimes’ were announced on the streets of Mosul on a loud-speaker, the activists said.

The report has not been confirmed by international news agencies or Iraqi authorities and IBTimes UK cannot independently verify it.

The activist group secretly documents the executions carried out by the Sunni Islamist group in various places controlled by them.

The latest chilling execution emerges alongside the threat made by an IS militant, suspected to be “Jihadi John”, to behead two Japanese hostages if their ransom demands are not met.

The masked man – who is believed to be the same militant who appeared in earlier videos executing western hostages James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines and Alan Henning – has asked for $200m (£132m) within the next 72 hours to free the Japanese captives.



As the world focuses its attention on Ebola, Kurdish Journalist Muhanad Akidi and Iraqi cameraman Raad al-Azzawi have been murdered by Islamic State as acts of pure spite against those who oppose them.

Kurdish journalist Muhanad Akidi was murdered by IS militants on 13 October reportedly in retaliation for Kurdish self-defence in the north of Iraq and Syria.

His death was confirmed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party, who said he was executed at the Ghazlani military base.

Akidi’s death has not received as much coverage in the West as the beheading of American and british aid workers and journos. Akidi was reportedly captured two months ago whilst on assignment in the IS-held city of Mosul. He had been working as a journalist for a local news agency and also presented a television show.



News of the journalist’s death comes just days after reports that Iraqi cameraman Raad al-Azzawi was publicly executed near Tikrit.

The 37-year-old is believed to have been executed with a single shot, alongside his brother and two other civilians in the small village of Samra on Friday. It is thought they had refused to declare their support for Islamic State and work for the extremist group.

Their murders have also received relatively little attention in the West.

One of al-Azzawi’s relatives later said: “They came to his home and took him and his brother. He did nothing wrong; his only crime was to be a cameraman. He was just doing his job.”

Al-Azzawi, a father of three, was detained by IS militants on 7 September, according to Reporters without Borders.

Social media users have been circulating photos of Akidi and al-Azzawi, specifically calling for them to be remembered like western journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were beheaded.

The barbaric terrorists of “Islamic State” have declared that any journalist wanting to work in their territory must declare their allegiance to the caliphate or face execution.

One resident of the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa in Syria has confirmed that anyone who speaks to someone from the Western media will be killed.

(From the Arab Times, re reported elsewhere)

Killed For Marrying The Man She Loved

 LAHORE, Pakistan, May 27, : In another disgusting example of cruelty and misogyny, a perfectly innocent 25- year-old woman was stoned to death with bricks by her family outside one of Pakistan’s top courts on Tuesday in a so-called “honour” killing for marrying the man she loved, police said. She was three months pregnant.

Farzana Iqbal was waiting for the High Court in the eastern city of Lahore to open when a group of around dozen men began attacking her with bricks, said Umer Cheema, a senior police officer.

Farzana Parveen was was stoned to death by her family outside a court in Pakistan. (Mohammad Tahir/Reuters)

Farzana Parveen was was stoned to death by her family outside a court in Pakistan. (Mohammad Tahir/Reuters)

Her father, two brothers and former fiance were among the attackers, he said. Iqbal suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead in hospital, police said. All the suspects except her father escaped. He admitted killing his daughter, Cheema said, and explained it was a matter of honour.

Many Pakistani families think a woman marrying her own choice of man brings dishonour on the family. Iqbal had been engaged to her cousin but married another man, Cheema said. Her family registered a kidnapping case against him but Iqbal had come to court to argue that she had married of her own free will, he said.

Around 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year by their families in honour killings, according to Pakistani rights group the Aurat Foundation.

The true figure is probably many times higher since the Aurat Foundation only compiles figures from newspaper reports. The government does not compile national statistics. Campaigners say few cases come to court, and those that do can take years to be heard. No one tracks how many cases are successfully prosecuted.

Female members of the victim's family wail in inconsolable grief at her murder.

Female members of the victim’s family wail in inconsolable grief at her brutal murder.

Even those that do result in a conviction may end with the killers walking free. Pakistani law allows a victim’s family to forgive their killer. But in honour killings, most of the time the women’s killers are her family, said Wasim Wagha of the Aurat Foundation. The law allows them to nominate someone to do the murder, then forgive him.

“This is a huge flaw in the law,” he said. “We are really struggling on this issue.”

The BBC reports that although the Pakistani government itself does not collect any data — and it is technically illegal to carry out such killings — several hundred women are said to be killed in honour killings every year in Pakistan. In the latest annual report released (PDF) by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 869 women were killed in the name of honor in 2013.

Earlier this year, the BBC traveled to a village in northwestern Pakistan to tell the story of a young woman who survived an honor killing and has been publicly speaking about it since. As the story notes, such killings are difficult to prove or to prosecute because of two reasons: first, the lack of witnesses to the crime, and second, lack of motivation for the police to pursue the suspects, regardless of the evidence.

But what happened in Lahore on Tuesday seems different. It wasn’t in a remote village in Pakistan, neither was it in the middle of the night. Parveen was killed in broad daylight, in the presence of several bystanders, in front of the top court in the second largest city in Pakistan.

Wellthisiswhatithink calls on the Governments of the world to not only outlaw this barbaric behaviour, but to take effective action to prevent it and other violence perpetrated against women. And we demand that the men in these cultures (because with some exceptions it is always men who take the lead) take a long hard unblinking look at themselves.

Let us be clear on a few things: this is not a uniquely Islamic problem. Other cultures in Africa, the Middle East and Asia experience this insane perversion of family behaviour too and it is not primarily related to religion. It is a cultural issue. Let us also be clear that uncountable millions of Muslims would find this incident as horrifying as those from different religions.

Second, there is no honour here. The men concerned are cowards, and cold-blooded murderers, and they should be locked up for life. End of discussion.

This was your CHILD! Your SISTER! A free individual. Not an animal. Not your possession. You should have done everything in your power to protect her, not harm her.

May you rot in the lowest depths of hell, as you surely will.

Alfred Wright was a 28-year-old physical therapist, a “man of great faith,” and father of three sons. He grew up in Jasper, Texas along with four siblings, and a father who was both the town’s pastor and gym teacher. Friends described him as ambitious, clean-living, hard-working, fun-loving, brilliant and a wonderful father. He went missing for 18 days.
He was found by volunteers and his father, stripped down to his shorts and one sock, with his throat cleanly slit and one ear missing.

The police recorded the cause of death as “accidental drug overdose.”

Alfred Wright was also a black man married to a pretty white woman…in small-town Texas.

Alfred Wright 3

Alfred’s truck broke down in a package store parking while he was on his way to see a patient. He called his wife Lauren, who called her parents; by the time they got there, he was gone. Lauren attempted to call him back, but all she heard when he picked up the phone was heavy breathing. The store clerk, who remembers Wright because he was dressed in scrubs, said he saw him tuck his phone into his sock (where it was later found) and take off jogging “of his own free will.”

Four days later, the Sherriff’s department called off the search for Alfred, saying they had “exhausted all of their resources.” His wife and family maintained that there was no way he’d just take off into the woods for no reason, especially in a town as racially tense as Jasper. Doubtless, they had in mind another incident that had taken place in 1998 about 45 minutes away, when a black man by the name of James Byrd was abducted, dragged behind a pickup, chopped to pieces and left in the Jasper cemetery — by three white men.

They found Alfred in the woods on November 13th, stripped down, with two missing teeth, a missing ear and a slit throat. When the local authorities performed an autopsy, the examiner said that there were methamphetamines and cocaine in his system. He recorded the cause of death as a drug overdose, and chalked up the injuries to animals scavenging on his corpse. The case was closed as far as the Jasper police were concerned.

But Wright’s family wasn’t buying it. For several reasons.

  • Even at the time, it was noted that Wright’s state of decomposition was nowhere near what it should have been for someone left in the woods for 18 days and exposed to the weather. This indicated that he had died much more recently, long after he’d disappeared.
  • Animals don’t just break front teeth and cleanly slit throats. the missing ear might have been the result of an animal, but Wright’s body was, if anything, notable for its LACK of obvious animal scavenging in this coyote-infested area.
  • The family reported that Wright was a sober and religious man who had no history of drug use, never showed the slightest interest in drugs and displayed no signs of drug addiction or use.

The family paid to have its own autopsy performed. Full results have yet to be released insofar as Wright’s blood tests, but the private examiner did say this:

“Wright’s cause of death was severe neck trauma and a slit throat. The kind of severe neck trauma you get from getting hit in the face with a blunt object, and the kind of slit throat you don’t get from a cocaine overdose.”

Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic congresswoman and member of the House Judiciary Committee said:

“The Department of Justice will investigate and take appropriate action and will conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and to take appropriate action necessary to vindicate the federal interest, protect the civil rights of all Americans, ensure that all persons receive equal justice under law.We are all better off when the facts are discovered, the truth is discerned and the family and the community are at peace.”

Savion Wright, Alfred’s mother, has set up a GofundMe account to allow others to make donations to help support the wife and three children Wright’s murderers left fatherless and without a means of support. The stated goal is $20,000, and she has to date raised $13,351 and change.

I have long railed against the gun culture of the United States – or rather, the culture of casual violence that is made so much simpler to create because of the free availability of guns.

Hundreds of thousands of legal guns are stolen from homeowners every year, and filter into the illegal community. If the total number of guns in circulation in the USA is not reduced through effective controls, then the slaughter of innocents will continue unabated. This is the point the gun lobby fails to address: this is the cowardice of America’s politicians on all sides.

People say that, as an Australian, this is none of my business. But I have friends in Chicago. Good friends. And all over the USA. I dont want to hear of them randomly killed, and unless they lock themselves in their homes and bolt the doors and never go out, there is always a real chance they will be.

The dead kid, Damani Henard, often made the 15-minute bike ride to his friend’s home to play computer games, frequently sleeping over if it got too late. Relatives say the boy called his mother to assure her he arrived at his friend’s home safely and promised to see her back home.

Henard’s aunt told the paper the last words the boy said to his mother were “OK, I love you.”

This article is from one of the finest writer/bloggers I have come across, Emily Hauser. Read every word. Please.

Killed, halfway home.

Damani Henard - photo source* Damani Henard (image source: DNAinfo Chicago)

I live in a lovely, upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago known for its trees, its schools, and its diversity.

We’re also known for the safety of our streets, but we live at the edge of chaos, on the literal border of one of the city’s poorest, roughest neighborhoods. Literally: On one side of my town’s eastern border you’ll find our tiny little arugula enclave; on the other, abandoned buildings and schools with no libraries.

We are safe here, but occasionally the chaos leaks out and across the street.

Over the course of 15 years, I can think of five murders that took place within a few blocks of my home or my regular haunts, all of them Chicago’s violence spread west. These events don’t frighten me, because they don’t belong to me. Someone ran, someone followed. They’re not my story, however heartbreaking they may be.

But last night the chaos leaked out and took the life of a 14 year old boy.

Damani Henard’s family had moved from that rougher, tougher neighborhood to my town, so that he could go to high school here. He had ridden his bike into the city to visit friends and was, according to the Chicago Tribune, “about halfway home” when he was shot in the head and killed, apparently instantly.

That family lives blocks from my home. That boy was enrolled in our high school, would have ridden his bike down the same streets that my boy will walk come fall. His family had done what they could to make him safe, and they probably figured that a 15 minute bike ride down a well-lit, major thoroughfare was safe, too.

But they were wrong. Someone else — also a teenager, a 19 year old young woman named Ashley Hardmon — was shot and killed less than an hour earlier, not far from where Damani was killed.*

His mom figures her boy was collateral damage. “He coincidentally had on black,” she told reporters — as if, in a functional world, that would in any way consign a boy to death. But the world we live in is not functional.

This is not my story. This was Chicago’s violence. It spilled over again, through the tiny hole of a woman and a family trying to get away. Damani Henard was not my son.

But this is my story. This is my violence. That woman ran to my town to keep her boy alive, and the world in which we both live reached out and snatched him from her. Damani was my boy, just as much as every child in the streets of Chicago and across this grieving nation are my children, the children of all the adults who fail them again and again, unto death. This is what a nation awash with guns looks like: Dead children.

I’ve written before that white privilege is sending your son out into the world without the fear that he will not return — at the time I was referring to state-mandated violence, but race lies deep within the heart of this story, too. Who are Chicago’s poor? What neighborhoods go under-protected by Chicago’s police? What color are the families doing the fleeing? My black neighbors — the upper middle class ones, the professional ones, the ones who dress like me and talk like me and who send their boys to private schools because our high school, the school to which Damani was coming for shelter, doesn’t always serve its black boys well — they know far better than me that class and geography don’t always suffice. Their boys don’t have to be poor, don’t have to be surrounded by gangs, to be in danger. They just have to live inside their skins.

I made my son a cheese sandwich for lunch today. I held him as tight as I could without making him suspicious, without weeping. Damani’s mother will never hold him again.

* In the first shooting, a gunman fired into a crowd of young people, striking Ashley Hardmon, 19, in the head in the 4800-block of West Potomac Tuesday night. Hardmon died at Stroger Hospital. Friends say Hardmon was standing with friends when someone starting shooting into the group.“At this stage in my life, I never thought I would bury one of my kids. I just can’t imagine… I still don’t believe it’s real,” Ashley’s mother Tiffany Hardmon said tearfully. “When we got here, she was face down, and she was lifeless, and I knew she wasn’t going make it.”“I am very angry. My love for God won’t let me hate them, but they need to pay for what they did,” said Tiffany Hardmon.

Chicago police say Hardmon was hit after several shooters approached a home and opened fire just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Hardmon was a graduate of Austin Business Academy and was training to work at a pharmacy through the Job Corps program. She was supposed to finish that program next month. She was back home in her Austin neighborhood for summer break.