17,000 People Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War, George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims, Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel, Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
August 18, 2016 Comments Off on 17,000 People Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War, George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims, Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel, Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
– 17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report
– George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
– Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel
– Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
– Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women
17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report
By Lucy Westcott 8/17/16
More than 300 people die in Syrian prisons every month, often after being subjected to brutal torture and abuse by security forces, according to a new report from Amnesty International.
The report says at least 17,723 people have died in custody in Syrian prisons since the start of the country’s conflict in 2011, and it documents crimes against humanity committed by government forces. While detainees dying in Syrian prison custody isn’t new—in the decade leading up to 2011, there were around 45 deaths in custody each year, according to Amnesty—it’s “never been to the scale that we’re currently seeing,” Claudia Scheufler, the report’s author, tells Newsweek.
“Anyone who could in any way be seen as opposing the government,” including journalists, human rights activists and medical workers, could end up in prison in Syria, says Scheufler. More recently, humanitarian workers who have been providing support to those displaced by the fighting have increasingly been jailed. One woman told researchers that someone she was giving food to didn’t like the way tomato paste was being distributed. That person complained to the security forces, and the woman ended up in prison.
Amnesty spoke with 65 survivors of prison torture and abuse in security facilities operated by Syrian intelligence agencies and the infamous Saydnaya Military Prison, located outside Damascus. A number of people told Amnesty that in addition to being tortured, they witnessed extrajudicial killings, saw fellow detainees being beaten to death and shared cells with dead bodies.
Those who spoke with Amnesty described a “welcome party” ritual when they arrived at a detention center, which involved beatings with metal bars or electrical cables. Women detainees suffered from sexual assault and rape by male guards. Forms of torture that survivors described to Amnesty, and that were used to extract “confessions” from detainees, include dulab, the process of forcibly contorting a body into a rubber tire, and falaqa, flogging the soles of the feet….
George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
Victoria police will not confirm whether detectives intend to interview Pell in Rome over historical child sex abuse allegations, which he has denied
Melissa Davey Wednesday 17 August 2016
Victoria police are considering whether to charge Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, with historical child sexual abuse offences.
Last month the chief commissioner of Victoria police, Graham Ashton, confirmed allegations against Pell had been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions for a recommendation as to whether police should drop the investigation, investigate further or lay charges.
George Pell exposed himself to young boys at surf club, says Victorian man
In a statement issued on Wednesday the Victoria police media office confirmed it had received the office’s recommendation but would not confirm what had been recommended or whether detectives would be sent to Rome to interview Pell, who is the Vatican’s chief financial advisor.
“We have received advice and will now take the time to consider it,” the statement said. “As with any investigation, it remains a decision for Victoria police as to whether charges will be laid.”
Police have been investigating allegations that Pell exposed himself to three young boys at Torquay life saving club in Victoria in the summer of 1986 or 87.
Another two allegations involve two former St Alipius students, who allege Pell repeatedly touched their genitals while swimming with them at the Eureka pool in Ballarat in 1978-79. At the time, Pell was episcopal vicar for education in the Ballarat diocese.
Pell has vehemently denied the allegations against him, describing them as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign”. He accused police of leaking to the media, and called for a Victorian government inquiry into the alleged leaks….
Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel
In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs against Freundel, convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.
JTA Aug 17, 2016
The Beth Din of America has been added to the list of defendants in a $100 million class action suit against Rabbi Barry Freundel, the prominent Washington, D.C., spiritual leader who was convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.
On Tuesday, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in Superior Court in Washington, D.C., that included the rabbinical court, according to a news release on behalf of the Sanford Heisler and Chaikin Sherman Cammarata Siegel law firms.
The suit, which was filed originally in December 2014, also names as defendants Freundel’s former synagogue, Kesher Israel; the Rabbinical Council of America, the main professional association for modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, and the National Capital Mikvah, the ritual bath Freundel used to spy on his victims.
In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs of Freundel’s behavior.
Freundel is believed to have violated the privacy of at least 150 women he filmed while they undressed and showered at the mikvah, or ritual bath. They included members of Kesher Israel, candidates for conversion to Judaism and students at Towson University in Maryland, where Freundel taught classes on religion and ethics. The rabbi also secretly filmed a domestic violence abuse victim in a safe house he had set up for her.
He pleaded guilty last year to 52 counts of voyeurism and began serving a 6 1/2-year sentence in federal prison….
Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
Extreme stress may affect the way the body’s cells function
By Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Women who suffered physical or emotional abuse as children often die at a younger age than other women, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 6,300 middle-aged U.S. adults, female survivors of child abuse were more likely to die over the next 20 years, versus other women.
And the worse the abuse was, the greater the impact appeared to be on a woman’s life span. Those who said they’d suffered severe physical abuse were 58 percent more likely to die during the study period, compared with women with no history of child abuse.
Experts said the findings, published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Psychiatry, highlight the lasting and extensive effects of child abuse.
Previous research had already shown that survivors of abuse are at risk of poorer physical and mental health as adults….
Although the study found a link between abuse in childhood and a shorter female life span, it’s important to note that the study wasn’t designed to definitively prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Still, Shalev, who does research on the biological effects of stress during early life, had at least one theory as to how abuse may lay the groundwork for an earlier death.
Adversity in early childhood may leave a biological “fingerprint” that affects how body cells function over a lifetime, he suggested….
“We know that both men and women suffer long-term effects,” he said.
That’s not true of all child abuse survivors, of course, Shalev pointed out. And the point is not to “alarm” people with a history of abuse, he added.
Instead, Shalev said, they should be aware of the possible long-term risks, because they can do something about it — by eating well, exercising, and seeing their doctor for routine health screenings.
“A healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the effects,” Shalev said.
An estimated 702,000 U.S. children suffered some form of abuse or neglect in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention….
Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women
Edith Chen, PhD1,2; Nicholas A. Turiano, PhD; Daniel K. Mroczek, PhD; Gregory E. Miller, PhD JAMA Psychiatry. Published online August 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1786 August 17, 2016
….Results Of the 6285 participants included in the study sample, 2987 were men (48%) and 5581were white (91%), with a mean (SD) age of 46.9 (12.95) years. Women who reported childhood emotional abuse (hazard ratio [HR],?1.22; 95% CI, 1.01-1.49; P?=?.04), moderate physical abuse (HR,?1.30; 95% CI, 1.05-1.60; P?=?.02), or severe physical abuse (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.20-2.08; P?=?.001) were at increased risk for all-cause mortality during the follow-up period. Reports of more types of childhood abuse were also associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality in women (all vs none HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.24-2.30; P?=?.001; some vs none HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01-1.52; P?=?.04). These effects could not be accounted for by childhood socioeconomic status, personality traits, or adult depression. No associations were observed in men.
Conclusions and Relevance These results suggest that in addition to the established psychiatric consequences of abuse, women who report childhood abuse also remain vulnerable to premature mortality into adulthood. Thus, reported childhood abuse may have long-term ramifications for health and longevity in women.
March 3, 2016 Comments Off on Cardinal Pell admits he did not act on abuse claim
Cardinal Pell admits he did not act on abuse claim
March 2, 2016 Australia
Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell has admitted he did not act after a boy told him about a paedophile priest.
The cardinal told an Australian Royal Commission into child abuse that a student at St Patrick’s College in Ballarat said Brother Edward Dowlan was “misbehaving with boys” in 1974.
He said it was “casually mentioned” and the boy did not ask him to act.
Dowlan, who has since changed his name to Ted Bales, was jailed last year for abusing boys in the 1970s and ’80s.
Cardinal Pell is giving evidence from Rome to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse….
Pell said it was a “disastrous coincidence” that five paedophiles came to be at the same school and parish in Ballarat in the 1970s….
Ritual Abuse Evidence
Child Abuse Wiki – Ritual Abuse http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse
Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation, ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies
February 24, 2016 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation, ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies
– Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation
– Cardinal George Pell won’t be asked about Victoria Police inquiry
– ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies
Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation
Cardinal George Pell has vehemently denied allegations of abuse, in a statement issued in the wake of media reports that he is being investigated by Victoria Police.
In response to a Herald Sun report that a Victoria Police taskforce was investigating abuse allegations against him, Australia’s most high-profile Catholic said the allegations were “undetailed” and had not been raised with him.
A statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney also said allegations of abuse that were raised 15 years ago were “without foundation and utterly false”….
Cardinal George Pell won’t be asked about Victoria Police inquiry
The Australian February 24, 2016
Cardinal George Pell is not expected to be questioned by a royal commission over allegations being investigated by police that he was involved in the sexual abuse of boys over several decades.
The publication of the allegations on Friday night provoked a storm of reaction. The cardinal, who vehemently denies the claims, called for a public inquiry into the “maliciously timed” leak, allegedly by Victoria Police.
Cardinal Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and who now manages the Vatican’s finances, is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week. But several legal and church sources said they did not expect him to be questioned directly by the commission’s lawyers over the alleged abuse.
The commission’s Letters Patent, signed by the Governor-General and which establish the confines of its work, say it “is not required … to inquire … into a particular matter” that is subject to another criminal investigation….
‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies where his ‘dominating’ partner would slice his forehead as 16th century church choir music played
A slave who stabbed his master to death says he acted in self defence
Henry Rose, 59, pleaded not guilty to murdering his partner Drew Dax, 44
Mr Dax was stabbed multiple times in their Caulfield North home in 2011
He had a knife in his hands but police allege Mr Rose planted it there
Police documents reveal the two had been involved in a violent relationship
Mr Dax was charged with assault after slicing Mr Rose in devil worship ritual
By Belinda Grant Geary For Daily Mail Australia 23 February 2016
A ‘slave’ who claims he killed his ‘master’ in self-defence was stabbed and sliced by his dominating partner during a ritualistic devil worshipping ceremony.
Henry Rose, 59, pleaded not guilty to murdering his controlling partner Drew Dax, formerly known as Andrew Barratt, during an appearance at the Melbourne Supreme Court on Monday.
Mr Dax, 44, was found with a knife in his hand after being stabbed multiple times with two different blades in the couple’s Caulfield North home on January 11, 2015.
The court has heard that the two had been involved in a string of violent confrontations during their 28 year relationship – one so serious that the 44-year-old master had been charged with assault, the Age reported….
Police were called to the couple’s apartment in Elwood, south of Melbourne’s CBD, in 1989 after Mr Dax entered a trance-like state and demanded Mr Rose kneel before him.
According to reports, Mr Dax, who was playing the role of Satan, used a kitchen knife to slice his slave’s forehead and stab him in the hand as dramatic 16th century church music played.
Mr Dax was charged with assault and placed on an 18 month community based order, despite Mr Rose insisting that he wanted to withdraw his complaint….
Police set to question celebrities, politicians and sports stars in investigation into child abuse on island of Jersey, Top Vatican Cardinal Pell trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia
June 5, 2015 Comments Off on Police set to question celebrities, politicians and sports stars in investigation into child abuse on island of Jersey, Top Vatican Cardinal Pell trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia
Top Vatican cardinal trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia
“a notorious pedophilia ring just down the road from where Pell once served as parish priest”
“abuse victims and fellow priests have given testimony under oath that Pell knew about the dozens of children who were mistreated there”
“Other priests gave testimony that Pell was probably part of high-level meetings about Ridsdale’s offenses by 1977, an allegation Pell has denied”
Police set to question thirteen ‘celebrities, politicians and sports stars’ in investigation into historic child abuse on island of Jersey
States of Jersey Police say they are to imminently quiz 13 famous figures
They are among the 45 suspects identified as part of Operation Whistle
The investigation is looking into allegations of child sex abuse on Jersey
By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline 4 June 2015
Police investigating child abuse claims on the island of Jersey say they are set to question 13 celebrities, politicians and sports stars.
Detectives have revealed that the prominent figures, who are ‘well known’ will be quizzed ‘imminently’ into allegations of institutionalised sex offences on the Channel island.
Their identities have not been revealed but police have said that 13 of the 45 suspects are public figures, including media personalities, politicians and sports people and they will be questioned as part of Operation Whistle.
The alleged abuse is said to have occurred between the late 1930s until the mid 2000s across four institutions, including the Haut de la Garenne children’s home.
The other institutions, which have not been named, are no longer functioning….
An investigation was launched into allegations of historic child abuse in Jersey in 2007 with former children’s home Haut de la Garenne becoming the focus.
By February 2008, the investigating team had received some claims about possible murders at Haut de la Garenne, a children’s home for 86 years until it closed in 1986….
the investigation did show numerous instances of abuse against past residents, with one former staff member being convicted of abuse.
Gordon Wateridge, was found guilty of eight indecent assaults on teenage girls and jailed for two years in August.
Top Vatican cardinal trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia
By Sarah Kaplan June 3
Cardinal George Pell left Sydney two years ago to great fanfare. The longtime archbishop of Sydney and lauded “defender of the faith down under” had just been appointed chief of the Vatican’s finances — sometimes described as the second most powerful position in Rome. It is the highest an Australian has ever ascended in the church.
But Pell couldn’t leave behind the child sex abuse scandal that had rocked his hometown or the hushed accusations that he had a part in it. Those accusations have grown louder and much more public since last month, when an Australian commission began hearings into a notorious pedophilia ring just down the road from where Pell once served as parish priest.
Amid fervent coverage in the Australian news media, an accusation that his handling of the issue was “sociopathic” and testimony that Pell ignored warnings about his abusive colleagues and attempted to bribe one victim to stop him from speaking out, Pell has now hired lawyers to fight off attacks from the decades-old scandal he can’t quite shake….
Ten thousand miles from Rome, in Pell’s hometown of Ballarat, abuse victims and fellow priests have given testimony under oath that Pell knew about the dozens of children who were mistreated there….
Pell was ordained in Rome in 1966 and moved to Oxford for his PhD. But when he returned to Australia in 1971, he moved back to his home state of Victoria, and two years after that he was back in Ballarat. There he served as a parish priest and vicar. Just down the road, St. Alipius Primary School had become the site of one of Australia’s most notorious pedophilia rings….
One of the worst abusers was Gerald Ridsdale, a now-defrocked priest convicted of sexual offenses against more than 50 children. Ridsdale lived with Pell in Ballarat for two years.
Ridsdale, who told his family he had “hundreds” of victims, according to the Australian newspaper the Age, was moved to nine different parishes over the course of his career — something the church is often accused of doing when faced with allegations of abuse.
Pell said he knew nothing about his colleague’s treatment of children until the 1990s, when Ridsdale was arrested and charged with dozens of counts of sexual assault over the course of two decades.
When Ridsdale appeared in a Melbourne court in 1993, Pell stood alongside him, dressed in a priest’s garb….
In 1994, Ridsdale pleaded guilty to 46 counts of sexual abuse and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was sentenced to an additional four years in 2006 after pleading guilty to 35 more charges, and eight more years in 2013, after additional offenses came to light during the Australian inquiry into the Church’s handling of abuse allegations. All told, he is convicted of abusing 54 children. The youngest was 4 years old….
Meanwhile, Pell’s star continued to rise. He was named archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 and then Archbishop of Sydney in 2001. A 2003 article on his appointment as cardinal called his ascent to the upper echelons of the Church “inexorable,” noting Pell’s moral fervor and reputation as a “staunch and public upholder of Catholic purity.”….
Last August, when Pell appeared before the commission for a broader inquiry on the Church’s handling of abuse cases, he said that the Church should not be held legally responsible for the actions of its priests, comparing it to a hypothetical trucking company that hired a driver who molested women….
Other priests gave testimony that Pell was probably part of high-level meetings about Ridsdale’s offenses by 1977, an allegation Pell has denied….
June 3, 2015 Comments Off on Vatican defends Cardinal George Pell in child sex abuse scandal
Vatican defends Cardinal George Pell in child sex abuse scandal
June 02, 2015
THE Vatican has defended its finance chief, Australian Cardinal George Pell, after he was accused by one of Pope Francis’ commissioners for child protection of being almost sociopathic.
Spokesman Federico Lombardi says Peter Saunders, who called for Pell to be dismissed over allegations he covered up abuse and denigrated victims, was expressing his personal views and not speaking on behalf of the commission.
Lombardi told journalists Pell, formerly the top Catholic cleric in Australia, has replied to all questions posed by the authorities and his defence must be considered reliable and worthy of attention and respect.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday requested Pell give evidence when the inquiry next meets at a date to be determined.
Pell says he will be present at the hearing.
Mr Saunders, an abuse survivor, made headlines earlier this week when he called on the Pope to sack Cardinal Pell as the Vatican’s financial chief over allegations he helped cover up paedophile activity in Australia.
Now Mr Saunders has revealed the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors may not be able to do its job properly due to a lack of resources.
“George Pell is in the Pope’s cabinet, the inner sanctum, and is in charge of Vatican finances,” he said….
Cardinal Pell, who denies the cover-up allegations, said he was consulting his legal advisers after Mr Saunders said the Australian’s lack of care for victims was “almost sociopathic”.
Mr Saunders responded by stating the threat of legal action wasn’t surprising and he wouldn’t shut up for anyone.
Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
August 22, 2014 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
Cardinal Pell spoke at the royal commission via a video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday
He said the church was no more legally responsible for priests who abuse than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women
The Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission
By Sarah Dean For Daily Mail Australia and Aap
21 August 2014
….When the Australian federal government announced the establishment of a Royal Commission in late 2012 into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell also caused controversy when he stated that priests who hear confessions from people who commit child sex abuse must remain bound by the Seal of Confession.
‘If that is done outside the confessional (it can be reported to the police)…. (But) the Seal of Confession is inviolable. If the priest knows beforehand about such a situation, the priest should refuse to hear the confession… That would be my advice, and I would never hear the confession of a priest who is suspected of such a thing,’ he said.
On Thursday the Vatican also refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.
The Vatican said the commission’s request for documents on each allegation involving an Australian cleric was ‘neither possible nor appropriate’.
Reasons included ongoing church investigations, and that internal working documents were the sovereign property of the Holy See….
Pell denies church responsible in abuse
Friday, 22 August 2014
The Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company which employs a driver who molests women, Cardinal George Pell maintains.
Victims’ families say it’s a ludicrous comparison and even the chair of the child abuse royal commission thinks the situation is quite different when it comes to a priest getting access to a child.
Cardinal Pell accepts the church has a moral obligation to victims, but when it comes to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests are not necessarily its fault.
‘If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,’ Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.
But Cardinal Pell said if the church had been warned about a priest or had bad policies or procedures in place, ‘then certainly the church official would be responsible’….
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said priests got access to children with the parents’ consent, unlike truck drivers.
‘The relationship between the priest and a child is quite different to that between the truck driver and the casual passenger, isn’t it?’ he asked Cardinal Pell.
‘Yes, I would certainly concede that,’ Cardinal Pell responded….