July 19, 2016 Comments Off on Tales of a child bride: ‘My father sold me,’ Ex-members of Twelve Tribes
Tales of a child bride: ‘My father sold me for 12 cows’
When she was 12, Grace was abducted and then raped and beaten every day for 11 months.
Features Human Rights 12 July 2016 By Marc Ellison
So common are the practices of abduction, rape and forced marriage of girls in northern Tanzania that a single word is used to encapsulate them all: kupura. It is a word used by people from the Sukuma tribe to describe the snatching of girls in broad daylight as they walk to school; a three-syllabled euphemism that downplays their long-term physical and sexual abuse.
And yet here in the region of Shinyanga, the practice of kupura is validated by the oft-recited motto of Sukuma men: alcohol, meat and vagina.
“This slogan is in their blood and a way of life,” says Revocatus Itendelebanya. “These are the three things they feel entitled to as men.”
Itendelebanya, the legal and gender officer for the local NGO, Agape, says this sense of entitlement, in what is a perennially patriarchal society, also explains why passers-by don’t intervene when they witness an abduction.
“When a Sukuma man is attracted to a girl he will start asking people where she lives, and what her routine is,” explains Itendelebanya.
“Once he finds out these details he might wait for her near the borehole – or whatever he thinks is the best place to get that girl – and then grab her.”
Kupura is so prevalent in the region that when a girl disappears, her parents will suspect what has happened. But rather than calling the police, they will seek the man out not to rescue their child, but to negotiate the dowry – or bride price – in cattle.
For daughters are sadly seen as a short-term investment for poor, rural households – cash cows that can boost a family’s financial position at the expense of a girl’s schooling and wellbeing….
When it comes to child marriage, Tanzania was until very recently a country of contradictions.
The 1971 Marriage Act set the minimum age of marriage for girls at 15 with parental consent – but a girl of 14 could wed where judicial approval was given.
And while the 2009 Child Act did not expressly outlaw child marriage, it did define a child as a person under the age of 18, stating that a parent should “protect the child from neglect, discrimination, violence, abuse, exposure to physical and moral hazards and oppression”.
This contradictory legal Venn diagram was further obfuscated by the Local Customary Law of 1963, which allowed Tanzania’s many ethnic groups to adhere to their customs and traditions.
The Tanzanian government had long made noises about a constitutional review process to address these conflicting laws, but last year’s presidential election campaign, in addition to a lack of consensus in community surveys, had served to stall any political momentum on the issue.
Only in July 2016 did the government finally ban child marriage outright – but will it actually make a difference?
Female genital mutilation was outlawed in Tanzania in 1998, and yet a 2010 government survey found that in remote parts of the Mara region, more than 40 percent of girls and women had been cut…. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/07/tales-child-bride-father-sold-12-cows-160711100933281.html
Twelve Tribes: The Church Preached Child Abuse & Slavery
According to ex-members of Twelve Tribes who spoke to The Daily Beast, children are regularly beaten and leaders preached “slavery is necessary.” Now, an escapee has taken over the Facebook page of the Plymouth bakery run by the commune so he can broadcast its ills.
Luke O’Neil 7.17.16
….It’s been almost eight years since Mathias, now 22, left the Twelve Tribes, the controversial commune and religious sect he was born into, but the memories, and the anger at the way he and his family were allegedly treated is still fresh. He says he—and other members of the sect—were regularly beaten by adults in the commune as a form of discipline.
….The half-dozen former members who spoke to The Daily Beast also allege a culture of systematic child abuse, subjugation of women, and psychological torment.
A couple of years ago, a German documentary uncovered video of children in a local branch being beaten so terribly that the government led a raid and took the children away. In the video, Wolfram Kuhnigk, an RTL journalist, filmed 50 instances of beatings on camera, as the Independent reported. One former member who appears in the film recounts being regularly beaten for such trivial offenses as pretending to be an airplane. According to the group’s teachings, children are not permitted to engage in any type of playing or fantasy.
It’s a pattern of controversial behavior that has persisted in stories about the group for decades. “There are so many teachings that keep you from being who you are. They keep you from being human,” a former member named Joellen Griffin told the Boston Herald in 2001. “You get so absorbed in the teachings that you lose your emotions and your ability to respond to situations. They seem like a tight-knit family, but you just don’t know all the misery behind those eyeballs.”
In 1984, authorities in Vermont undertook a similar raid, liberating over 100 children from a Twelve Tribes compound, according to The New York Times. A judge determined that the raid was unconstitutional and the children were returned. Interestingly, as the San Diego Reader reported, the public defender at the time, Jean Swantko, joined the group soon after.
An investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2013 told similar stories of members who had escaped the group, as did an investigation last year by Pacific Standard, which reported that children were allegedly beaten multiple times per day. In 2001 the New York Post launched an investigation that resulted in some of the group’s New York businesses being cited for violating child labor laws….
Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools, MI5 ‘hid’ child abuse at boys’ home: Former Army intelligence officer claims security chiefs told him to ‘stop digging’ when he reported possible paedophile ring, Kincora historic VIP paedophile ring
April 9, 2015 Comments Off on Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools, MI5 ‘hid’ child abuse at boys’ home: Former Army intelligence officer claims security chiefs told him to ‘stop digging’ when he reported possible paedophile ring, Kincora historic VIP paedophile ring
– National Scandal Over Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools
– MI5 ‘hid’ child abuse at boys’ home: Former Army intelligence officer claims security chiefs told him to ‘stop digging’ when he reported possible paedophile ring
– Kincora historic VIP paedophile ring – shock revelations
“The U.S. Department of Justice and State Department say that 25 to 35 million people are enslaved worldwide — more than “all of the slaves in the transatlantic slave trade over generations cumulatively,” Reyes said.
National Scandal Over Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools
By Felicity Capon April 8, 2015
Information passed to Newsweek has revealed that global horror over child abuse and its concealment by the Establishment, hitherto focused squarely on the UK, now needs to be widened to France as well.
Thousands of children in French schools have been sexually abused by paedophile teachers, an international NGO has claimed, accusing the French education authorities of a decades-long “cover-up”….
The French education system is set to become the focus of a national scandal after minister for education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was forced to admit last week that 16 teachers were allowed to work in schools last year despite holding previous convictions for paedophilia….
Homayra Sellier, founder of Innocence en Danger, an NGO dedicated to child abuse victims, says: “The ministry of education has covered this up for years. The government has never been inclined to listen to these stories.”
Sellier says her NGO is now being “showered” with reports of abuse. In the past few days, she has received dozens of new cases. One case can include complaints from as many as 20 children, and Sellier forecasts thousands of cases will emerge, a concern echoed by another French NGO, Lueur d’Enfance, which works to support and defend the rights of children.
According to Grimaud, teachers who try to speak out about child abuse at the hands of other teachers are silenced by school directors and local officials, and even threatened with legal action – usually defamation. Others have lost their jobs. As for the teachers the children accuse, they usually stay at the same school, or are quietly transferred to another. “The taboo is extremely strong within the French national education system about the existence of paedophile acts committed against students,” she says….
MI5 ‘hid’ child abuse at boys’ home: Former Army intelligence officer claims security chiefs told him to ‘stop digging’ when he reported possible paedophile ring
Brian Gemmell said spy chiefs ordered him to ‘stop digging’ at boys’ home
Former Army Intelligence officer claims MI5 covered up the sexual abuse
Staff jailed in 1980s for sexual abuse at notorious Kincora children’s home
By Ian Drury, Home Affairs Correspondent, for the Daily Mail 7 April 2015
MI5 covered up the sexual abuse of boys in the notorious Kincora home, a former Army Intelligence officer claimed last night.
Brian Gemmell, a former captain in the Intelligence Corps, said spy chiefs ordered him to ‘stop digging’ when he reported a possible paedophile ring at the Northern Ireland children’s’ home.
He spoke out during a meeting with victim Richard Kerr, who claimed he was one of three youngsters trafficked from the home before being molested by ‘very powerful’ figures in a Westminster paedophile gang….
He claimed he was sexually abused by politicians and other senior men at Dolphin Square apartment complex in Pimlico and Elm Guest House, in Barnes, west London, which are being investigated by Scotland Yard amid ‘credible’ claims a Tory MP murdered a young boy.
Campaigners claim Mr Kerr’s account provides a clear link between VIP paedophile rings in London and Belfast.
MI5 has faced long-standing allegations of covering up child abuse to enable it to gather intelligence on Loyalist politicians during the Troubles. But it has also been accused of not acting to protect leading Establishment figures involved in the crimes.
Mr Gemmell, who served in military intelligence in Belfast, presented a report on allegations of abuse at Kincora to a senior MI5 officer in 1975 but to his astonishment was told to quit his probe….
Boys – many in local authority care – are alleged to have been abused by figures including the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, Cabinet ministers, clergymen, pop stars, spies, judges and members of the royal household.
MI5 has been accused of suppressing allegations of child abuse against the politician, who died in 2010, when they were made during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
The Kincora children’s home in east Belfast was run by William McGrath, the head of an extreme Protestant loyalist group called Tara and an alleged MI5 informant.
He and two other members of staff – William Semple and Joseph Mains – were jailed in 1981 for sexually assaulting boys in their care.
In February, lawyers for victims challenging the refusal to include Kincora in Justice Goddard’s wide-ranging inquiry told the High Court in Belfast that MI5 was aware of the abuse but allowed it to continue to protect those responsible from prosecution.
Kincora historic VIP paedophile ring – shock revelations
Tuesday 07 April 2015
A Kincora abuse victim from Northern Ireland has told Channel 4 News how he was also abused at London’s Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square at the hands of “very powerful people”….
Richard Kerr’s harrowing account of what happened to him as a boy links three of the most important alleged VIP paedophile ring locations for the first time – Dolphin Square, a luxury complex, popular with MPs and civil servants; Kincora Boy’s Home in Belfast, where boys were systematically abused and Elm Guest House, a former gay brothel where young children are also said to have been molested.
Last month Channel 4 News brought Mr Kerr to England from America, with his counsellor, to revisit his past. On being back in London for the first time, he tells reporter Cordelia Lynch he feels “very emotional, very painful. I’m scared.”
He was introduced to the world of Westminster as a teenager and has suffered for nearly 30 years in silence. His memories are vivid and distressing.
In an interview with Channel 4 News to be broadcast tonight at 7pm, Kerr insists a VIP paedophile ring did exist….
Utah Attorney General speaks on sex trafficking sting operation
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 By Kevin Opsahl
….(Attorney General) Reyes and Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) — a nonprofit organization that rescues kidnapped children from slavery — conducted the sting in cooperation with local government and U.S. law enforcement, saving 54 children as young as 9 years old from future abuse.
….Reyes said human trafficking is “the second most lucrative business behind drug dealing,” eclipsing counterfeiting, which was in the No. 2 spot about 5 to 10 years ago.
“I think normal folks just find it hard to believe that this could happen in modern times, but in our community, it does,” Reyes said.
The U.S. Department of Justice and State Department say that 25 to 35 million people are enslaved worldwide — more than “all of the slaves in the transatlantic slave trade over generations cumulatively,” Reyes said….
Pedophile who ran children’s homes, Victim trafficked to more than 200 men, Could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK
December 3, 2014 Comments Off on Pedophile who ran children’s homes, Victim trafficked to more than 200 men, Could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK
John Allen jailed for child abuse at Wrexham care homes
1 December 2014
A paedophile who ran children’s homes in Wrexham has been jailed for life for sexually assaulting youngsters in a campaign of abuse spanning decades.
John Allen, 73, of Needham Market, Suffolk, had denied 40 counts of sex abuse against 19 boys and one girl in the late 1960s up to the early 1990s.
He was sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Monday after being convicted of 33 charges last week.
The judge ordered Allen must serve a minimum of 11 years in jail….
He set up the Bryn Alyn Community, which was to become one of the UK’s largest providers of residential care, providing accommodation for children sent from about a dozen local authorities.
During the trial, which began in early October, the jury was told of Allen’s previous conviction in 1995 for six counts of indecent assault involving repeated abuse of six boys dating from the 1970s….
In an interview with BBC Wales, he explained how Allen had groomed him and gave him gifts before he abused him.
During sentencing, Mr Justice Openshaw said that the system of supervising and monitoring of Bryn Alyn was at the time wholly inadequate, boys did not complain because they knew it was quite pointless to do so, and that “gave the defendant the belief that he was untouchable”.
He went on to say that there was a common theme of Allen targeting boys who were more susceptible to grooming with payments and presents given as “inducements” or to “keep them quiet”….
Sexual exploitation victim ‘trafficked to more than 200 men‘
29 November 2014
A woman says she was trafficked to more than 200 men for sex from the age of 14.
The victim from Shropshire, who wanted to remain anonymous, told BBC WM most attacks happened in Stratford Road and Ladypool Road in Birmingham….
Earlier this week a Birmingham City Council report said at least 132 children in the city were suffering from or were vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
The anonymous victim said she was taken to locations across Shropshire and the West Midlands.
She said she met the traffickers through a group of younger men who would take her to cafes to meet customers and discuss payments.
She said the men who abused here were generally older – the oldest was in his 80s – and that if she did not comply with the traffickers’ demands, she was beaten with a metal bar or belt….
Slavery levels in UK ‘higher than thought’ 29 November 2014
There could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, higher than previous figures, analysis for the Home Office suggests.
Modern slavery victims are said to include women forced into prostitution, “imprisoned” domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats.
The figure for 2013 is the first time the government has made an official estimate of the scale of the problem….
Data from the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Human Trafficking Centre last year put the number of slavery victims in the UK at 2,744….
Zim border posts conduits for human trafficking, Child abuse at George Osborne’s old school and a scandal that grows ever darker
May 10, 2014 Comments Off on Zim border posts conduits for human trafficking, Child abuse at George Osborne’s old school and a scandal that grows ever darker
“Representing an estimated $32 billion of the illegal international trade estimated at $650 billion per annum, human trafficking is the third largest income earning transnational organised crime, coming after drugs and arms trafficking.”
Zim border posts conduits for human trafficking
May 9, 2014 in Feature Story Andrew Kunambura
Stories about human trafficking often appear to be fictitious Western-style movie material set in far-away places like cities in Mexico, Argentina, Pakistan, small towns in countries across the seas like Vietnam or rural parts of Cuba, but it in reality happens in cities, towns and villages all over the world.
Zimbabwe is apparently deeply involved in the criminal activity. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, commonly known as the Palermo Protocol, defines human trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other means of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability for purposes of exploitation”.
Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000, the protocol states prostitution, sexual abuse, forced labour or services, slavery, servitude or the ritual removal of organs as the major forms of exploitation victims are subjected to.
Zimbabwe’s young women, men and children are being trafficked at an alarming rate to other countries where they are forced to work as sex slaves in brothels or give slave labour in factories, mines, farms and other businesses.
Tempted by needs, hopes and dreams, victims encounter their traders who in turn are driven by profit, the need to possess and a will to deceive, exploit and violate laws. Minors are also being trafficked for ritual purposes and domestic servitude….
Representing an estimated $32 billion of the illegal international trade estimated at $650 billion per annum, human trafficking is the third largest income earning transnational organised crime, coming after drugs and arms trafficking….
Child abuse at George Osborne’s old school and a scandal that grows ever darker
Allegations of historic sex abuse made against St John’s School, London
Former pupils include Chancellor George Osborne and Dominic Grieve
Teacher Anthony Fuggle arrested in September after indecent images found
Arrest emerged last week, bringing abuse allegations into present day
Fellow teacher Tim Harbord was also arrested but later cleared by police
By Paul Bracchi and Tim Stewart 9 May 2014
Back in March, when the revelations first came to light, six teachers were implicated in the suspected sexual abuse of boys as young as ten between the Sixties and Eighties.
Former pupils who came forward claimed the authorities at St Paul’s hushed up the wrongdoing. Among the perpetrators, the former pupils alleged, was a housemaster who fondled boys in the dormitory, a choirmaster who paid boys half a crown after molesting them, a teacher who beat ‘naughty’ boys, and a maths tutor who kept a register of pupils he punished in private spanking sessions.
Now the number of suspects has risen from six to 18 — ten of whom taught at Colet Court and eight at St Paul’s. Some of the former schoolmasters are no longer alive.
A Scotland Yard detective, who headed the Jimmy Savile inquiry, is leading the St Paul’s investigation, which has been given its own codename: Operation Winthorpe….
It has been reported that visitors to the Elm, as it was known, included members of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), the pressure group that campaigned in the Seventies to lower the age of consent to four.
A former teacher at Colet Court was also a member of PIE during this period: choir- master Alan Doggett. There was gossip among his pupils that ‘half a crown’ was the ‘going rate for a session with Doggett’. They even coined a new verb — to ‘be Doggoed’, ie, groped and fondled.
Doggett took his own life in 1978, shortly after leaving Colet Court. Just hours before his death, he appeared before West London magistrates, charged with two indecent assaults on a ten-year-old boy from another school….
Sadistic cult leader sentenced to 26 years, Man abused and enslaved six women and dozens of children
October 18, 2013 Comments Off on Sadistic cult leader sentenced to 26 years, Man abused and enslaved six women and dozens of children
Sadistic cult leader sentenced to 26 years
Man abused and enslaved six women and dozens of children, some of whom continue to support him
By Stuart Winer and Spencer Ho October 17, 2013
A man who headed a religious cult that physically, mentally, and sexually abused a group of women and their children was sentenced to 26 years behind bars by the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday.
The man, 58, who has remained unnamed in the media, was also ordered to pay a total of NIS 100,000 (some $28,000) to his victims. A second man, who was an accomplice in the crimes, was sentenced to six years in prison. The separate trial of a third man involved in the case is still underway.
Prosecuting lawyer Sagi Ofer had asked for a sentence of 65 years for the cult leader and 20 years for his deputy….
Last month the man and his assistant were found guilty of sex offenses, violence, confinement in conditions of slavery, and abuse of women and minors, including some of who are his own children. The court found that the man exploited his family’s religious faith, and their belief in him as a spiritual leader, in order to perpetrate the crimes against them….
The case shocked the country when it came to light in August 2011 after one of the women broke free and alerted authorities to the conditions that the man imposed on his followers. According to the court verdict, the group was composed of the man, six women, and 17 children. The convicted man convinced women to join with him in what initially appeared to be a pleasant life. However, once under his control, the women faced continued physical and sexual abuse, as did their children….
The women and children were subject to daily “confessions” and “judgments” and were punished by means of imprisonment, starvation, physical and mental abuse, humiliation, sexual abuse, and severe violence, according to the indictment. Police found numerous torture devices when they searched the house.
August 20, 2013 Comments Off on Nigeria: Nasarawa Poly Suspends 12 Over Cult Killing, Track your slavery footprint
Nigeria: Nasarawa Poly Suspends 12 Over Cult Killing
By Hir Joseph, 18 August 2013
Lafia — Barely a week after students suspected to be members of a cult at the Nasarawa State Polytechnic (Naspoly), in Lafia, shot and killed a fresh student, sparking up a reprisal violence, the school management has announced the suspension of 12 students suspected in the cult activities.
A statement by the Acting Rector of the polytechnic, Engr. Emmanuel Jatau, said at the weekend that the affected students have been suspended indefinitely, after an investigation proved that they defied the rules and regulations of the school in respect of cultism.
The statement said the affected students have been warned to steer clear of the institution pending police investigation on the matter.
The rector, who lamented the incidence of cultism and other ant-social vices by students in the institution, said that the decision was taken as part of measures towards eradicating cultism in the school….
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