|Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Nelson Mandela|
Sex trafficking victims reveal horror of witchcraft and torture being used to enslave women in Scotland | Vlad TepesJanuary 30, 2012
Exclusive by Annie Brown
VICTIMS of human sex trafficking have told how they were enslaved by witchcraft, torture and death threats in modern-day Scotland. The harrowing stories of ten women were compiled by campaigners investigating the world’s fastest growing organised crime. Nine came from Africa, one from South America.In one of the testimonies to a Glasgow charity, a 21-year-old told how she was branded and forced to take a “witchcraft oath” to prevent her escaping. She said: “I had to take the oath. I was given this mark on my hand. I was told that this mark, if you tell anyone what has transpired, you are going to die. “They gave me a razor blade to eat, they took my armpit hair, they removed my nails from my toes and my fingers. “They removed the hair on my body, they tied it up and put it in this shrine, then they tear my body and told me that if I tell anyone, ‘you will just die’. When I saw the shrine, it was so big, I was so scared.”The women tell their stories in research commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The main centres for sex trafficking are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, Stirling and Falkirk but it also touches small towns and villages. So far Scotland has had just one successful prosecution – while there have been 150 in England and Wales. Human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy, who headed the investigation, said: “As a criminal lawyer I have heard and read many stories of women being beaten, abused and suffering psychological torment, so there is not much that shocks me. “However, the evidence that we took from women not only shocked me, as it would any woman, but resolved me to ensure their voices, their experiences, their insights, were heard.
“These are stories of ordinary women – mothers, daughters and sisters – vulnerable due to poverty and discrimination, being deceived into Scotland and subjected to horrifying sexual violation.
“These violations occur across Scotland, and not only in our cities; the women and girls are exploited indoors, in private “sex” flats, not in shadowy back streets. They may seem fine and in control when in fact they are mentally shackled and controlled by traffickers.
“It is now up to us all to work together – across our families and communities, our villages, towns and cities, and in our politics – to identify and, together, rid Scotland of the modern slavery in our midst.”
Kennedy published a report on Scotland’s failure to tackle trafficking last November – but this is the first time the voices of victims have been heard.
The research found women are trafficked from across the globe to Scotland but mainly from Nigeria, China and Brazil and many come via England.
But there is evidence that an increasing number are taken straight to Scotland.
All of the victims had been vulnerable in their home countries.
Many had lost family, were fleeing poverty, abuse or tribal violence and had turned to trusted community “aunties and uncles”.
The women were mainly locked in flats and rooms, forced to have sex with up to 15 men a day, beaten and not allowed to use contraception.
Their passports were taken and they were told their families would be killed if they tried to leave. Even when the women became pregnant they still had to have sex with punters.
Women who were considered “new” were particularly popular in brothels.
Some even talk of their children being held with them. One woman was locked in a room with her daughter who had to listen to her mother being raped.
She said: “There was a room attached to my bedroom with a toilet and a shower. The trafficker said that I should look smart as it is money I have to make.
“When men came, the trafficker would unlock the door and take my daughter away.
“While I was with these men I could hear my daughter crying in the other room. It was terrible. When the men were finished they would use the bathroom and then leave.”
Women from Africa described their traffickers as powerful people within tribal communities who had connections with corrupt officials.
The EHRC report said: “These women report being controlled using oaths or juju magic.”
A 21-year-old described how she was forced to take alcohol and drugs so that she would be compliant.
Money was paid to a madam who forced her to work seven days a week and beat her if she failed to keep customers happy.
She said: “It was so painful, they were so rough, they didn’t care, they just wanted satisfaction.
“I saw more than 10 men a day and because I was new, everyone wanted to have me. People waited for me.
“When I finished with one they say go and have this liquid, wash up. My body was so painful.”
The ten women who gave their testimonies had all come through the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA), a Scotland-wide support service based in Glasgow.
The interviewees were aged 21 to 33, nine of them from Africa, including Somalia, Nigeria, Gambia, Uganda and Kenya, and one from South America. The women had all fled their traffickers.
A couple were helped to escape by regular customers but the men who intervened were the exception.
When one woman told a customer she had been trafficked he became more brutal, while another punter only helped a woman to escape so that he could use her for himself. He abandoned her when she fell pregnant.
One victim said she repeatedly told punters she was trafficked and needed help, yet only one assisted her.
The man, a regular trusted by the trafficker, took the girl to his house, gave her a little money and dropped her at the Scottish Refugee Council.
Another girl was freed when the police raided a brothel and one who had been captive for ten years was found unconscious by police and taken to hospital.
Many victims were told they were under constant surveillance but one Nigerian girl took a chance when her female trafficker went to London.
The victim said: “She said that I could not leave the house. She said that she had people watching me. All she would do was to call the house, if nobody answered then she would know.
“All of this time I was looking out the window. I was thinking to myself who could be watching me? Who would be watching if I just took a step outside? If I left the house? I was so scared. I cannot even remember leaving.”
The victim had been trafficked as a child to north-east England and was then moved to be sexually exploited in Glasgow.
In one account, a victim took a chance when, on her way to the toilet, she noticed the flat door was open.
“I was terrified the men had set a trap for me so I just went to the toilet.
“When I came out I saw the door was still open. I was very scared but I took a chance and ran out.
“I came to the landing and saw three doors. The first two I tried were shut fast. I thought about returning to the flat but the third door opened. I went through this door and there were stairs. I ran down many flights of stairs. I ran out of the flats.”
The victim had been trafficked from Africa and was only prostituted in Scotland. She was trafficked by a trusted community member she turned to after witnessing the murder of her parents and grandparents by the police.
When she ran out of the flat she stopped a couple of female passers-by – the first refused to help but the second took her by bus to the Scottish Refugee Council.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has expressed Iran’s readiness to help Somalia resolve its ongoing crisis.
At a meeting today with his Somali counterpart on the sidelines of the 16th ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on the island of Bali in Indonesia, Salehi announced Iran’s readiness to use all capacities to help end bloodshed in Somalia and alleviate the suffering of the Muslim nation.
Somali State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Ali Hamud, for his part, explained the latest developments in the country and hailed Iran’s humanitarian aid as well as its efforts to help resolve the crisis in the war-ravaged country.
Source: Press TV, Iran, May 27, 2011
Never mind the Prison Rapes and Revolt In Tehran.
The UN is, as always, eager to oblige:
The US Constitution protects our freedom by affirming natural rights. This is why our liberal rulers reject its authority in favor of the United Nations, which attacks our freedom by inventing unnatural rights that are not rights at all but arbitrary dictates and special privileges handed down from on high. One example is the use of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to attack the Second Amendment. Here’s another example:
Obama Uses UN to Push Homosexual Agenda (Moonbattery)Gay friendly, to put it mildly.
Gay Imam Visits Netherlands
To Spread Message:
It’s Okay To Be Muslim And Gay!
An excellent article on Islam’s current state of war against homosexuals. (NewsReal)
(Turkey) Gay Soccer Referee Fights to Keep Job…
He’s a threat to Islam. He must die. But also: Bravo, what courage! Radio Netherlands Worldwide has received many responses to the portrait of Mushin Hendricks, the gay imam from South Africa. Hendricks doesn’t feel under pressure from death threats, and insists “I’ll keep on asking questions.”
Homosexuality in Muslim countries
Arab countries: In many Arab countries there are severe punishments for homosexuals. In some countries the death penalty is imposed: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Mauritania and parts of Somalia and Nigeria. In those countries, sharia law applies. Gay men risk lashings, long prison sentences or stoning. Egypt has no death penalty for gay men. But even there the authorities sometimes react harshly. Homosexual acts are seen as displaying ‘contempt for religion’. In the past, gay men were tortured.
Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran is considered the most gay-unfriendly country in the world. In 2005, two young gay men aged 17 and 18 years were hanged. It caused a storm of international criticism. Lesbians get 100 lashes.
Indonesia: Homosexuality is permitted in principle. Moderate Muslim scholars believe that, under Islam, there is no reason to reject gay men. Some regions of Indonesia – such as Aceh – are less liberal. There, gay men face 100 lashes and eight years in prison.
Mostly from the Arab world, but also from Indonesia, came reactions to the article about Imam Hendricks.
Reinhard Luhulima from Indonesia writes: “Hendricks’ utterances reflect his own beliefs. If each person expresses his own beliefs about the teaching of God, this can lead to chaos in the world. Hendricks should be hung for his beliefs, which are misplaced.”
And this is on our Arabic site: “What I know is that there is no place for homosexuality in Islam. Whoever claims that is a jihadist. Could this be a jihadist imam? ”
But even in the Netherlands there is still little sympathy for the story of this imam who maintains that there is indeed room in Islam for homosexuality. When Hendricks recently gave a lecture in the Netherlands, only two of the 50 invitees showed up.
“I feel that the Muslim community in the Netherlands is not yet ready to openly discuss sexuality, let alone homosexuality. I don’t think an imam is willing to take a position about it. They avoid the subject.”
The article on the gay imam was used by RNW partner stations and many other websites. 1,200 readers responded on one South African forum and 400 Senegalese gave their opinion on the news site seneweb.com. Everywhere the story led to confrontations between supporters and opponents.
The proponents: a reader from Indonesia cannot imagine that Allah punishes gay people for something they have not asked for themselves: “They are born with it. It is not fair if God punishes them, when we consider God the Merciful. Another reader praised Hendricks for his battle against fundamentalism in Islam: “Good to finally see Islam – albeit slowly – trying to move out of the Middle Ages!”
But the vast majority of the reactions are negative. For example, Hendricks is a danger to Islam “because he interprets his faith the wrong way. The Qur’an and the Hadith – the traditions of the Prophet – offer this reader simply no room for homosexuality.”
The right to ask questions
Hendricks sees himself as a practicing Muslim who wants to discuss the subject within the Muslim community. He has spent many years in Pakistan studying Islam. He is no longer afraid of death threats:
“The Qur’an calls on Muslims to ask questions. And I’m making use of that right. I don’t think that Allah, who has given me that right, will punish me at the same time because I’m making use of it. Some Muslims react too emotionally to the subject. Many innocent people are dying because of the misconception that Islam is against homosexuality.”
DUBAI : Pirates on Wednesday seized a supertanker off the coast of Oman bound for the United States carrying a crew of 25 and a load of more than 1.9 million barrels of oil, officials said.
“We cannot contact the vessel,” an official with Enesel, the Greek company that manages the Irene SL, told AFP by telephone.
The tanker was carrying “about 270,000 metric tons” of Kuwaiti crude, which translates to over 1.9 million barrels of oil, he said, asking not to be named.
The Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces said the Greek-flagged ship was hijacked at 0926 GMT about 220 nautical miles (370 kilometres) east of the Omani coast, in the Arabian Sea.
“We can confirm that the Irene SL has been pirated off the coast of Oman,” a spokeswoman for the international naval force told AFP by telephone.
“It is an oil tanker,” she said, adding that it had a crew of 25 and was “bound for the United States”.
“We have no reports of casualties,” the spokeswoman said.
While the identity of the hijackers is unknown, Somali pirates are the likely culprits.
“We’ve got no specific information about who has taken it, but I think it would be reasonable to suspect it was an act of Somali piracy,” the spokeswoman said.
Various websites devoted to information on shipping listed the tanker as being 333 metres (1,092 feet) long with a 60-metre (196-foot) beam.
Irene SL is the second oil tanker hijacked in two days.
The European Union’s Atalanta mission to the seas off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden (Eunavfor) said an Italian oil tanker was taken early on Tuesday 600 miles east of the island of Socotra by a single skiff with five pirates who opened fire on the oiler.
That ship had a crew of 22 – five Italians and 17 Indians, EU forces said.
Piracy has made shipping increasingly perilous off the Horn of Africa and led to the deployment of an international force to protect the key maritime corridor.
On Sunday, the Indian navy captured 28 suspected Somali pirates on board a Thai fishing vessel that had been hijacked up to six months ago and was thought to have been used as a floating base to mount attacks on shipping.
In January, pirates released a Greek-owned oil tanker with a crew of 18 Filipinos that they had seized in the southern Red Sea.
The UN’s maritime agency, the International Maritime Organisation, said last week that 67 ships had been hijacked off the coast of Somalia in the past 12 months alone, while a total of 714 seafarers are still being held for ransom on board 30 ships along the eastern African country’s extensive coastline.
London’s Chatham House international affairs think-tank estimates that piracy costs the global economy between US$7 billion and US$12 billion (five billion and 8.8 billion euros) every year.
Leading global shipping groups have called for a “more robust” international response to Somali piracy, warning that escalating violence towards seamen could prompt the industry to seek alternative routes.
“The current situation is unacceptable to the industry,” four shipping associations said in an open letter dated February 4, released on Monday by the union of Greek ship owners.
“Unless necessary action is taken by the international community, the shipping industry will be looking at all possible options, including alternative routes, which could have a very dramatic effect on the world economy and global trade, including the delivery of oil,” the groups warned.
Somali teenager looking like Close Encounters of the Third Kind Alien tried to set off carbomb in USNovember 27, 2010
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, attempted to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. However, undercover FBI agents had been monitoring his plans and had ensured that the “bomb” was a dud.
Mohamud, a naturalised US citizen of Somali descent, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Portland police around 5:40 pm Friday (0040 GMT Saturday). Detectives swooped on him just after he dialled a cell phone number that he thought would set off the bomb. As they closed in, Mohamud tried to kick at them and yelled “Allahu Akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great!”
“The threat was very real. Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale,” said Arthur Balizan, a special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “At the same time, I want to reassure the people of this community that, at every turn, we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack.”