Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Indonesia's Comfort Women Break the Silence

Jakarta Globe, Report Katrin Figge | August 18, 2010

The exhibition ‘Jugun Ianfu - Comfort Women’ features portraits of 18 women, most of whom are now in their late 70s or early 80s. Accompanying text tells the stories of the women and their experiences during World War II.  (JG Photos/Safir Makki and Amee Enriquez)

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“As a 13-year-old girl, Ronasih was picked up on her way home from school by a soldier nicknamed Sideburns and locked up in a nearby barracks. There, she was raped systematically for three months by Sideburns and his pal.”

This is the story of Ronasih, from Serang, West Java, but it is shared by many other young Indonesian girls who became victims of sexual violence during World War II.

They were forced into prostitution by the Japanese military or repeatedly raped and sexually abused in factory warehouses, railroad cars and even their own homes.

It is a dark chapter in history that few people openly talk about. These women, known as comfort women or the Japanese term jugun ianfu — jugun means following the military and ianfu means comfort women — still carry the stigma and shame of what they had to endure.

“Her father visited the barracks several times and in vain offered himself as free labor in exchange for his daughter’s release. Not until the end of the war was Ronasih, very thin by then, released. ‘I had to crawl home, I couldn’t even walk anymore, it hurt all over.’

“Immediately after the war, she underwent surgery for internal injuries. ‘I only married late because I first wanted to think, my wounds hadn’t healed yet, I was afraid, I wanted to get better first.’

She’s been married five times, divorced several times after just a few months, and has never been able to bear children. ‘I did get injections from the doctor, but it’s God who determines whether you have children, not people.’ ”

Ronasih’s narrative is part of an ongoing photo exhibition, “Jugun Ianfu — Comfort Women,” by Dutch journalist Hilde Janssen and photographer Jan Banning at Erasmus Huis in South Jakarta.

Encouraging comfort women to break their silence, Janssen and Banning traveled the country to hear and record their stories.

The exhibition is a result of this undertaking — portraits of 18 women, most of whom are now in their late 70s or early 80s, accompanied by text that tells their stories.

It also features Japanese war propaganda posters found in archives in the Netherlands. These posters stand in stark contrast to the pictures of the women, which present a rarely talked about side of the story.

In addition, Janssen and Banning published al book, “Shame and Innocence: The Suppressed War Chronicles of Indonesia’s Comfort Women,” in both English and Dutch.

Banning also published book of his photographs, “Comfort Women.”

“I so much wanted to be ugly because the ugly girls they quickly sent away. But the beautiful ones had to stay.” These words accompany the portrait of Emah, from Kuningan, West Java.

The photo shows an old woman wearing a black blouse with purple flowers and a serious look on her wrinkled face. The two sentences sum up the horror and desperation she still feels to this day.

Even though she later got married, Emah was never able to have children of her own.

Even without the accompanying text, the women’s portraits, which exude pain and sadness, speak for themselves.

Janssen said the project was not easy to complete. Finding the women was difficult, and once they were located, some were unwilling to talk about their experiences. Many others had already passed away.

“We had to approach them discretely because feelings of shame remain severe,” Janssen said. “Often, they couldn’t bring themselves to say the word rape, were reduced to nervous giggling and called it ‘forced adultery’ or ‘doing it.’

“Even in their 80s, some women still face abusive sneers,” she added.

“As much as they would like to erase the traces of their wartime history, they drag it along all their lives: the humiliation and pain, their childless existence, the failed marriages.”

But despite the topic’s sensitive nature, Janssen felt that bringing it into the open was the right thing to do.

“While [these women] struggle with the physical and emotional impacts, the Japanese perpetrators have gone free,” she said. “The circle of silence needs to be broken, the voices of the women no longer suppressed.”

Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan), who opened the exhibition last week, agreed that it was time to shed light on this issue.

“The great characters that emerge before us through these portraits are women who had the courage to share personal experiences of sexual violence that have been undermining their lives for over six decades,” she said.

“They have raised their voices not only to demand a formal apology and compensation; they broke the silence to prevent future generations of women from falling victim to similar acts of sexual violence.”

According to Banning, it is estimated that there were at least 200,000 comfort women in Asia, with 20,000 in Indonesia. He previously worked on a similar project about men who suffered abuse as forced laborers on the Burma and Sumatra railways during the war.

“A lot of the men had trouble talking about this experience,” he recalled. “They felt humiliated and ashamed.”

He added that the comfort women would have felt the same way, even worse. “In fact, we also tried to include Dutch [comfort] women in this project,” he said. “Out of the estimated 200 to 400 [Dutch comfort] women, only a handful have ever come out in the open.”

Yuniyanti said: “The fate of comfort women forms an integral part of our national history. Not only does it concern a period that is a crucial part of the Indonesian independence story, the issues related to comfort women are also still relevant today. This is evident in the way in which this sensitive issue was suppressed and shelved by the New Order regime [of former President Suharto].”

She said the stories of comfort women were kept secret because they were seen as tarnishing the nation’s honor. She added that the same thing has been happening for the last four decades regarding cases of sexual violence against women.

The issue of the May 1998 riots, when women of Chinese descent became victims of mass rape and sexual attacks, has been largely ignored until now, Yuniyanti said.

“While praising the 1998 events as a starting point for the democratization process in Indonesia, the May 1998 tragedy itself is only mentioned as a mere riot, ignoring the faces of the grieving mothers who lost their children and the women who are not able to talk about their personal experiences without risking being criticized for undermining Indonesia’s reputation,” she said.

“Female victims of sexual violence are also being silenced by their own families and communities, as they prioritize safety and want to avoid the disgrace and cultural shame attached to the ‘sins’ of these women.”

The physical and psychological harm that these women have experienced can never be undone. Nevertheless, their stories need to be told.

“I think we do not only live for ourselves,” Banning said. “I think we should try to play a role in society with whatever means we have. We wanted to bring this story to the surface.”

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