Muslim woman mistaken for terrorist sues
CHICAGO — A young Muslim woman on Thursday sued Chicago police who mistakenly identified her briefly as a potential “lone wolf” terrorist as she was leaving a city subway station last year on the Fourth of July wearing a headscarf, face veil and carrying a backpack.
Itemid Al-Matar says officers violated her civil rights by pulling off her religious garb as they arrested her on subway station stairs, then strip-searched her later at a police station, according to the federal lawsuit filed in Chicago on her behalf.
“Several [officers] ran up the stairs and grabbed the Plaintiff and threw her down upon the stair landing, then pulling at her and ripping off her hijab,” it says.
Security-camera video made public shows several minutes of the arrest in the subway. Several officers can be seen pushing through a crowd on a stairway to reach Al-Matar, but soon move out of view of the camera.
The fact that Al-Matar was wearing a headscarf, known as a hijab, and the face veil, called a niqab, “was the impetus behind the actions” of the officers, the court filing alleges. In a statement on Thursday, Phil Robertson, a lawyer for the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and a co-counsel in the civil case, argued that “blatant xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racial profiling” underpinned the officers’ actions.
A police report filed the night of the incident says officers had been “on high alert of terrorist activity” on the Fourth of July holiday when they spotted Al-Matar exhibiting what they believed was “suspicious behaviour,” including walking at “a brisk pace, in a determined manner.” It also says officers saw what they thought could be “incendiary devices” around her ankles and were also suspicious of her backpack, which was clutched to her chest. “[Officers] believed that subject might be a lone wolf suicide bomber and decided to attempt to take subject into custody,” it says.
A K-9 unit searched for explosive materials, the report says, “with negative results,” while “the objects strapped around arrestee’s ankles” turned out to be “ankle weights.” But Al-Matar was still charged, including with obstructing justice after police accused her of resisting and refusing to comply with orders. She was acquitted on all charges at a state trial earlier this year.
Thursday’s lawsuit names six officers and the city of Chicago as defendants, accusing them of excessive force, false arrest, violation of freedom of religious expression and malicious prosecution. — AFP LILONGWE — A Malawian man has been slapped with a twoand-a-half year jail sentence after it was found that he had slept with his own daughter in a bid to “cure” her of her epilepsy.
According to a Malawi24 report, 47-year-old White Taimu is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with his 20-year-old daughter due to a belief that it would rid her of her ailment.
The incident, which took place in Malawi’s Mangochi District, saw the young woman fell pregnant as a result of her father’s incestuous actions. While passing judgment on the man, Magistrate Ronald Mbwana stated that such acts could not be condoned in the southern African nation.
Police have since urged members of the public to come forward with any information pertaining to sex crimes in their areas so as to curb the scourge of sexual misconduct currently plaguing the state.
The development follows just two weeks after the arrest of a 38-year-old man in Salima District for the alleged rape of his KAMPALA — Ugandan officials raided a prestigious private school on Thursday to seize copies of British children’s author Jacqueline Wilson’s Love Lessons on the orders of a minister who has led several crackdowns on “obscene” conduct.
Minister for ethics and integrity Simon Lokodo said the book exposed children attending the exclusive Greenhill Academy to sex at too young an age.
The school in the capital Kampala is popular with Uganda’s elite and Western expatriates, and admits pupils between five and 12 years old. “My team went to the school and confiscated the books from the library and we have opened investigations into their motive,” Lokodo said.
“The books contained literature on sex and these books are not suitable for primary pupils,” he added.
Love Lessons tells the story of 14-year-old Prudence, who 8-year-old daughter, a Nyasa Times report said. The suspect, Maston Khongoza, is reported to have raped his daughter on two occasions while her mother was receiving treatment for malaria.
Khongoza is expected to appear in court soon to answer on charges of incest.
President Peter Mutharika recently announced the introduction of tougher legislation against sex offenders, in a crackdown on sex crimes in the country.
Speaking during an interview with the BBC, Mutharika claimed that his government would be taking strong action against so-called “hyenas” — sexual predators who are paid to have sex with young girls as part of a “cleansing” practice.
“I have instructed the Minister of Justice to start preparing a draft paper which will form a base of legistaion which will be presented before the cabinet, and then we will have new legislation governing some of these [cultural] practices,” said Mutharika. — AFP
‘Obscene’ British children’s book seized from Uganda school
escapes the misery of life at home with a controlling father by falling in love with her handsome art teacher.
At certain points she shares kisses with the teacher, but there is no explicit sexual content in the novel, which is aimed at young teenagers.Greenhill Academy management refused to comment on the raid.Lokodo has become notorious in Uganda for his fight against homosexuality and anything he deems provocative.
A gay pride parade in Kampala planned for last weekend was postponed after the minister was accused of saying mob attacks on participants would be their own fault.
He also had Ugandan pop star Jemimah Kansiime arrested last year for performing in a music video he deemed “very obscene and vulgar” as part of an anti-pornography campaign.
Lokodo also ordered police to arrest men who procure prostitutes and described a popular local television dating show as prostitution. — AFP