132,000 People Living with HIV/AIDS in Pakistan: Survey
The Express Tribune, Pakistan, 9/30/2017
There are currently around 132,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in Pakistan, a staggering increase of 39,000 in comparison with 2016’s figure. These figures have been disclosed in a recently-concluded nationwide survey, in which some 60 teams visited 20 cities nationwide and collected data from 5,000 locations. According to the survey, Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, has the highest number of people living with HIV and AIDS – 60,000. There are up to 52,000 cases in Sindh and 11,000 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, while three cases were reported in Balochistan. In the federal capital Islamabad, there are 6,000 registered people living with HIV and AIDS.
More Reports of Sexual Violence against Rohingya, Says UN Agency
The Indian Express, India, 9/28/2017
The head of the U.N.’s migration agency, International Organisation for Migration, warned on September 27 about increasing reports of sexual violence directed at Rohingya Muslims, who have been fleeing violence in Myanmar in recent weeks. IOM said rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, child marriage and other forms of gender-based violence have been identified. It did not specify who was responsible for the violence. An agency statement said IOM doctors have treated dozens of women who experienced ‘violent sexual assault’ since August, but that the known cases likely represent only a ‘small portion’ of actual cases.
Saudi Arabia Driving Ban on Women to Be Lifted
BBC News, Saudi Arabia, 9/27/2017
Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time, to the joy of activists. The Gulf kingdom is the only country in the world that bans women from driving. Until now, only men were allowed licences and women who drove in public risked being arrested and fined. Praise for the move has been pouring in from inside the Saudi kingdom, as well as around the world. The country's US ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman, confirmed that women would not have to get male permission to take driving lessons, and would be able to drive anywhere they liked.
‘Feeble No May Mean Yes’: Peepli Live Co-Director Mahmood Farooqui Acquitted of Rape
Hindustan Times - New Delhi, India, 9/26/2017
The Delhi high court on September 25 acquitted Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui of raping a US citizen, setting aside a lower court verdict sentencing him to seven years in jail. The court, in its judgment, said there were doubts whether such an incident took place in the manner alleged by the woman concerned. Justice Ashutosh Kumar further recorded that the appellant ‘had no idea that the prosecutrix was unwilling, and there are instances when a feeble ‘no’ on the part of a woman may mean ‘yes’ during the course of a sexual act’. The high court also refused to buy the woman’s argument that she had given in to Farooqui’s sexual advances under fear.
Hong Kong Gay Rights: British Lesbian Wins Spousal Visa Case
BBC News, Hong Kong, 9/25/2017
Hong Kong's court of appeal has ruled that a British lesbian who moved to the territory with her partner should be granted a dependent visa. The visa, usually given to the husbands and wives of foreigners working in Hong Kong, was denied because she was not considered a spouse, the woman said. Same-sex marriage is banned in the territory although discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal. Campaigners say this is a landmark case that could lead to greater equality. In a unanimous ruling by three judges, the Court of Appeal said immigration authorities had ‘failed to justify the indirect discrimination on account of sexual orientation that QT suffers’.