News Archives

Death of Model after Party Shines Spotlight on Murky Part of Thailand's Entertainment Sector

The Japan Times - Bangkok, Thailand, 9/30/2019

Thai police investigating a model’s unexplained death are hunting for more suspects in a case that has sparked rare outrage over the treatment of women in a poorly understood sector of the entertainment industry. The body of model Thitima Noraphanpiphat was found in the lobby of a Bangkok apartment block, hours after she attended a party where she was paid to serve drinks. This has fuelled a conversation around the ‘pretty’ industry in Thailand, which hires promotional models to attend clubs, parties, etc. But critics say it exists in a legal gray area where women at these parties can be coerced into sex or raped under the influence of alcohol. As the inquiry widens, authorities hope the case will fuel more conversations around this.

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Divorce on Grounds of Desertion Subject to Maintenance: SC

India Today - New Delhi, India, 9/29/2019

The Supreme Court of India on September 28, 2019, ruled that a wife, who has been divorced on the ground of desertion, is entitled to claim maintenance from her ex-husband. A bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta dismissed the petitioner's (husband) plea to refer the matter to a larger bench. ‘This view has been consistently taken by this Court and the said view is in line with both the letter and spirit of the Code of Criminal Procedure,’ said the court. The petitioner (the husband) had in his appeal cited that the law says that a wife who has deserted her husband cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. But the apex court declined to entertain contentions raised by the husband.

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Saudi to Impose Fines for Tight Clothes, Kissing In Public

NDTV - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 9/29/2019

Saudi Arabia on September 28, 2019 said it would impose fines for violations of ‘public decency’, including ‘immodest clothing’ and public displays of affection, a day after the kingdom opened up to foreign tourists. The interior ministry said it had identified 19 such ‘offences’ but did not specify the penalties, as the ultra-conservative Islamic country begins issuing tourist visas for the first time as part of a push to diversify its oil-reliant economy. ‘The new regulations require men and women to dress modestly and to refrain from public displays of affection. Women are free to choose modest clothing,’ a statement said. While the opening up of Saudi Arabia to tourists has received some positive reactions from citizens, it continues to uphold conservative rules such as this.

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Transgender and Homosexual Fans 'Welcome' at 2022 FIFA World Cup, Affirms Qatar

News18 - Doha, Qatar, 9/27/2019

A top Qatari World Cup official has said that transgender and gay fans would be welcomed to the 2022 tournament to be held in the country. Same-sex sexual acts are banned in Qatar, although laws around transgender people are more unclear, and these issues are seldom addressed by government or other authorities. However, while responding to media questions on September 26, 2019 about the position of transgender fans who might want to attend the World Cup but are unclear what legal and human rights protections they will have, the World Cup official stated the safety and security of every LGBTQ fan will be ensured. However, LGBTQ issues remain sensitive in Qatar, so it is yet to be seen how this promise is put in practice.

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Afghan Women Fear Mandatory Poll Photos Could Stop Them from Voting

Reuters, Afghanistan, 9/26/2019

Afghan women’s rights activists have demanded the authorities lift a requirement that all voters be photographed at polling stations in Saturday’s presidential election, arguing that it could prevent hundreds of thousands of women from voting. Afghanistan’s electoral authorities have decided to photograph all voters using facial recognition software as an anti-fraud measure, but the photo requirement could be particularly difficult for women, especially in areas where most adult women and older girls cover their faces in public. The election commission says that women voters can have their pictures taken by female staff, but at least 1,450 of the nearly 30,000 polling stations employ no women. Hence, 18 women’s rights groups have separately written to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to call for this to be scrapped.

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