contempt of court? really?

Oh just now i read the article by Arundhati Roy published in Outlook. I am preparing for judicial services for an year. I have been studying law for last  8 years and to be very honest this time ( I love her way of expression) I couldn’t find anything in her article which can offend sensibilities of a person belonging to right wing. At most they can blame her for drawing bad analogy or saying what is not true. But contempt of court? Really? I am confused whether the judges are insensitive (for cancelling Prof. Saibaba’s bail)  or  hyper-sensitive?

by the way here is the link o the article :http://www.outlookindia.com/article/professor-pow/294265

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Court disregarding its constitutional duty

Law is no stranger to prejudice or moral anxieties. Judicial pronouncements can sometimes cast aside constitutional values and defer to societal biases masquerading as righteousness. The recurrence of “collective conscience” in terror cases, where the threat of terrorism looms so large that it can overshadow the lack of evidence, is only too well known. Even so, the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court takes one’s breath away. It rejected the regular bail plea moved by the lawyers of Delhi University professor, Saibaba, cancelled his interim bail which allowed him to receive treatment till December 31, and ordered him to surrender within 48 hours. Besides, the court issued a notice of criminal contempt to Arundhati Roy for her article, ‘Professor, POW’, published in Outlook magazine. The order will be remembered for its naked display of contempt for civil rights, partisanship and renunciation of judicial independence.

Pak mob kills woman over ‘blasphemous’ FB post – Hindustan Times

A Pakistani mob killed a woman member of a religious sect and two of her granddaughters after a sect member was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook, police said Monday, the latest instance of growing violence against minorities.

 The dead, including a seven-year-old girl and her baby sister, were Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslim but believe in a prophet after Mohammed. A 1984 Pakistani law declared them non-Muslims and many Pakistanis consider them heretics.

Police said the late Sunday violence in the town of Gujranwala, 220 km (140 miles) southeast of the capital, Islamabad, started with an altercation between young men, one of whom was an Ahmadi accused of posting “objectionable material”.

“Later, a crowd of 150 people came to the police station demanding the registration of a blasphemy case against the accused,” said one police officer who declined to be identified.

“As police were negotiating with the crowd, another mob attacked and started burning the houses of Ahmadis.”

The youth accused of making the Facebook post had not been injured, he said.

Resident Munawar Ahmed, 60, said he drove terrified neighbours to safety as the mob attacked.

“The attackers were looting and plundering, taking away fans and whatever valuables they could get hold of and dragging furniture into the road and setting fire to it… Some were continuously firing into the air,” he said.

“A lot of policemen arrived but they stayed on the sidelines and didn’t intervene,” he said.

The police officer said they had tried to stop the mob.

Salim ud Din, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community, said it was the worst attack on the community since simultaneous attacks on Ahmadi places of worship killed 86 Ahmadis four years ago.

Under Pakistani law, Ahmadis are banned from using Muslim greetings, saying Muslim prayers or referring to his place of worship as a mosque.

Accusations of blasphemy are rocketing in Pakistan, from one in 2011 to at least 68 last year, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. About 100 people have been accused of blasphemy this year.

Human rights workers say the accusations are increasingly used to settle personal vendettas or to grab the property of the accused.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan-mob-kills-woman-girls-over-blasphemous-facebook-post/article1-1245491.aspx#sthash.4DNHtTyt.dpuf

A little local difficulty

Paul Mooney, one of the longest-serving and most accomplished foreign journalists in China, renowned for his unflinching coverage of human-rights abuses, had been denied a visa to return as a correspondent for Reuters.

China is pressing foreign news organisations more than ever to pull punches in their coverage. And it appears to be getting harder to resist such demands. In 2012 both Bloomberg and the New York Times defied pressure not to publish exposés about the wealth of the family members of China’s top leaders, including Xi Jinping, now president, and Wen Jiabao, then the prime minister. Authorities responded by punishing both organisations. Their websites have been blocked in China, and Bloomberg has lost some of its lucrative terminal business.

source: http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/11/foreign-journalism-under-pressure?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/bl/alittlelocaldifficulty

Weird People

Born in May 1965, he came to power in 1994 as a 29-year-old army lieutenant. Now, he is a portly president who portrays himself as a devout Muslim with miraculous powers, such as the power to cure people of Aids and infertility. He also believes that homosexuality threatens human existence. Mr Jammeh divorced his first wife Tuti Faal and subsequently married two other women, though his official website refers only to Zineb Yahya Jammeh, who holds the title of First Lady.

Mr Jammeh, claiming that he has the support of most Gambians, nearly all of whom are Muslims, has won four multi-party elections – his latest victory was in 2011 when he obtained 72% of the vote. But in a sign that his credibility among African leaders had plummeted, the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), refused to endorse his victory, saying voters and the opposition had been “cowed by repression and intimidation”.

The Gambia, portrayed in tourist brochures as an idyllic holiday destination, is the second African country to pull out of the Commonwealth in the past decade – Zimbabwe took a similar decision in 2003 after the body extended sanctions against President Robert Mugabe’s government because of its human rights record.

In an interview in 2011 with the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme, Mr Jammeh said he did not fear a fate similar to Libya’s killed leader Muammar Gaddafi or Egypt’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak. “My fate is in the hands of almighty Allah,” he told the BBC. “I will deliver to the Gambian people and if I have to rule this country for one billion years, I will, if Allah says so.” Mr Jammeh said he was not bothered by the criticism of human rights groups.

Mr Jammeh is known for expressing bizarre views. In 2007, he claimed that he could cure Aids with a herbal concoction – a view condemned by health experts. Later, he also claimed that he could cure infertility among women. Mr Jammeh is also known for his virulent opposition to gay rights, having once threatened to behead gay people. During an address to the UN General Assembly last month, Mr Jammeh lamented that Western governments were pushing for homosexuality to be legalised.

He runs one of the most feared intelligence agencies in Africa, with its tentacles spread across the country – so much so that people in cities and villages fear speaking ill of the man who is officially referred to as his “His Excellency Sheikh, Professor, Alhaji, Doctor Yahya AJJ Jammeh”.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24383225

East Timor leaders eye media curbs – Features – Al Jazeera English

Media in this young democracy in Southeast Asia suffer from a lack of professionalism, accuracy, and ethics, argue proponents of new legislation that would punish journalistic transgressions.

But critics worry that such a law, expected to be taken up by East Timor’s parliament, could impose onerous restrictions, such as spelling out who may work as a journalist, and how breaches of journalistic ethics should be addressed.

Complaints about media performance are widespread in East Timor. Journalists, who are mostly young in a country where more than 60 percent of the population is under 18, complain of a lack of training and mentoring. As a result, basic rules of journalism – such as confirming information, separating fact from opinion, and telling all sides of the story – are not uniformly followed.

The shift to online news sources and social websites has yet to happen in earnest. Internet service is sporadically available in Dili, but most of the country remains cut off. Because electricity is often either unreliable or unavailable, battery-powered radio remains the preferred medium for many.

East Timor’s past is filled with media intimidation and violence, including the killing of the “Balibo Five” – five Australian television journalists covering the impending 1975 Indonesian invasion, as well as a sixth journalist who tried to investigate their fate.

Also known as Timor-Leste, the country was ranked 90 out of 179 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index 2013.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/east-timor-leaders-eye-media-curbs-201310158199829830.html

Freedom and Security In Pakistan

I am not in position to take any stand right now. First i’ll document some of the instances of curtailing freedom of speech and expression on ground of public security, law and order.

So, First Case

Authorities in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on Thursday banned Skype, Whatsapp and Viber to facilitate security operations, triggering angry reactions from numerous users of the instant messaging applications. “Terrorists and criminal elements are using these networks to communicate after the targeted operation was launched (against them),”  (Side story: Ironically Pakistan was on Thursday placed among the bottom 10 countries in the Freedom On The Net 2013 report, which measured internet and digital media freedom in 60 countries.)

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistani-authorities-ban-skype-whatsapp-and-viber-in-sindh-province/1177991/0