>> Friday, January 8, 2010
Already under intense domestic and national scrutiny following the well-documented series of irregularities that have taken place during the investigations of long 16 years, one might think prosecutors would have more sense than to bring even more unwanted attention to themselves and their mockery of investigations.But no, the arrogance of these people seems to know no bounds, while professionalism and judicial ethics have apparently gone out of the window.Even more worrying than this latest sideshow, however, is the continued silence of the government towards blatant violations of human rights.
Repeated statements from govt that they “respect the independence of the judiciary” are little comfort when it is clear that increasing numbers of the general public have no faith in it whatsoever.
For a government that appears hyper-sensitive to even the slightest criticism , the refusal to take action against such glaring challenges to the independence, impartiality and human rights can only be interpreted as tacit approval of all that is going on.
Sr.Abhaya murder case has been going on for the last 16 years without reaching anywhere.Suddenly,new witnesses,and evidences appeared out of no where,and two priests and a nun were arrested and paraded before the public.They were labelled as criminals even before the case reached the court.The CBI used modern methods of investigations,it was said..like lie detectors,brain mapping and so on.The public thought these were very scientific methods.
An expert committee studying the efficacy of brain mapping criminal suspects has concluded that it is unscientific and should be discontinued as an investigative tool and as evidence in courts.
The real mockery and humiliation and injustice was done when they subjected Sr Sephy to a virginity test.There is nothing worse or inferior they could do to a woman than humiliating her and insulting her womanhood.The whole world despises tests like this,and it is at this time that the CBI undertook such a test.It is hard to believe that the CBI thought this evidence would be accepted at a court of law.Their aim would be nothing other than humiliating this woman in public.
The test was a violation of fundamental rights of the accused, Jessy Kurian, a lawyer practicing in the Supreme Court, told UCA News on Dec. 8. Every person has a right to live with human dignity, she added. She pointed out that the murder case and the accused nun's virginity are unrelated. "A virginity test cannot prove the murder. Besides, the right to privacy is an indispensable part of human dignity," she said.
Sister Sephy, who has been charged over the murder of Sr Abhaya, is seeking compensation from India’s Central Bureau of Investigation for allegedly tarnishing her image by leaking the result of a virginity test conducted on her.
It is generally accepted that the hymen is a poor marker of sexual activity in post pubertal girls. With reference to hymenal examinations we have been slow to accept the words –‘‘The doctor cannot always tell’’. What can we make of this sorry state? It is difficult to conclude anything other that it is being driven by males attempting to exert control over women’s sexuality. It has spawned a sorrowful industry in which a number of our professional colleagues are willing participants and proponents; some in perpetuation of this totally unscientific practice and others in the equally repugnant practice of hymenal repairs. These practices are irrational, destructive and clear breach of international human rights. "
Wells DL. Sexual assault practice: myths and mistakes. Journal of clinical forensic medicine. 2006;13(4):189-193.
According to the Turkish Medical Association, the practice of virginity examination is a form of gender-based violence.In addition, the Izmir Chamber, concerned by recently occurring suicides associated with virginity examinations, issued a statement condemning them as 'an assault to the bodily and mental integrity of the person.
Virginity examinations violate guarantees of freedom from discrimination found in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, all international human rights standards that Turkey has ratified."
Frank MW, Bauer HM, Arican N, Fincanci SK, Iacopino V. Virginity examinations in Turkey: role of forensic physicians in controlling female sexuality. Jama. 1999;282(5):485-490.
Only someone with a pervert mind can plan and implement such a criminal action. And it is surprising many of the womens rights activists have not responded to such a henious act and blatant violation of human rights.