A 19-year-old Sudanese Christian woman has been sentenced to endure 20 painful lashes for the crime of "indecent dress" for wearing trousers on the way home from a church service.
Fardos al-Toum, who is one of 12 Christian women who were arrested on June 25 for wearing trousers and skirts while on their way home from a Baptist church function in Khartoum, was the first of the young women to be tried on July 6 on charges of indecent dress. Along with a 500-pound fine, which was paid for by rights activists, CNN reports that her lawyer says she has also been ordered to receive a torturous punishment of 20 lashes.
After they were arrested, the young women, who are thought to range in age from 17 to 23, were brought to the police station where two of them were freed — the other 10 were forced to strip out of their clothes. They remained detained for over 24 hours and were charged with indecent dress. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has distributed online photos of three women believed to be kidnapped Assyrian Christians, warning that if a ransom is not paid for their freedom, the women will be turned into sex slaves.
MailOnline reported that the three women who appear in the photos, holding pieces of paper which reveal their names and the date July 27, are likely part of the over 200 Assyrians kidnapped by IS in February in Syria.
The Assyrian Federation of Sweden cautioned that it cannot yet be confirmed whether the women in the photos are indeed those kidnapped from the Assyrian village of Tel Shamiram, but said that their surnames suggest that it is so. more >>
Women living in Saudi Arabia will make history later this year when for the first time they'll be allowed to vote.
"My message during my campaign is simple: Change the system. Change is life. The government has given us this tool and I intend to use it," said Haifa Al-Hababi, one of the 21 female candidates who is preparing to stand in the Dec. 12 municipal election as reported by Asia News.
Saudi Arabia's discriminatory male guardianship system continues to dominate the lives of women, despite government pledges to abolish it. According to Human Rights Watch, the system forbids women from obtaining a passport, marrying, traveling, driving, or accessing higher education without the approval of a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother, or son. more >>
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi repeatedly sexually assaulted American humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller before she died earlier this year in captivity in Syria, according to the victim's family. She got a chance to escape along with two Yazidi girls but she refused to join them lest her foreign appearance put them in danger, one of the girls has said.
"We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi," Kayla's parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, told ABC News on Friday, the day she would have turned 27.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally brought Mueller, who was captured in Sinjar, Iraq, last August, to the home of Abu Sayyaf, a Tunisian in charge of oil and gas revenue for IS, Al-Shadadiya. The top IS leader visited the home often to rape her. more >>
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has asked the state's Department of Human Services to end its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood, whose officials were shown discussing delivery of babies' body parts in secretly taped videos. StemExpress, a tissue company, is also cutting its ties with the abortion provider.
"It is apparent that after the recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them," Hutchinson said in a statement Friday.
The Republican governor added that this includes "their affiliated organization, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma." more >>
Undercover videos showing abortion provider Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby parts can continue after biomedical company StemExpress failed, through legal action, to stop their release.
The Superior Court of the state of California issued a ruling Thursday denying StemExpress' request for a "specified discovery" that would have given them possession of the video and thus kept it from being released publicly.
"The Court, for good cause shown, may order that 'specified discovery' be conducted notwithstanding the general prohibition. Plaintiff seeks to demonstrate that such good cause exists. However, Plaintiff's papers fail to make that showing," read the ruling. more >>