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Female detainees in Syria on hunger strike
Today on the net: online support for the female detainees on hunger strike in Syria; a child’s pregnancy revives abortion debate in Chile; and Justin Bieber upsets ice hockey fans across North America.
Female detainees in Syria on hunger strike
According to reports from Syrian human rights groups, female detainees in a Damascus prison have been on hunger strike since July 1st in protest of their detention conditions.
They are demanding the right to a fair trial, contact with family members and proper medical care. Thousands of web users in Syria, and abroad, are backing their protest on this Facebook page; some have posted photos with messages pledging support, with references to Ramadan, currently being observed around the world. Others have produced digital posters voicing solidarity with the political prisoners who are generally held without charge, calling for their immediate release.
Many have also taken to social networks to share concerns over their state of health as some of the female detainees are reportedly pregnant or seriously ill. This YouTube video for example looks at how the women who have been thrown in jail since the start of the uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime, are being treated.
The NGO Human Rights Watch recently released a report on the subject. The investigation was based on accounts from 10 former female prisoners who describe, amongst other things, the acts of torture or sexual violence they were subjected to during their time in prison.
Child’s pregnancy sets off abortion debate in Chile
The case of pregant 11-year-old Belen in Chili, who was raped by her step father, has revived national debate about abortion. Despite her life and that of the fetus being at high risk, ending the pregnancy, even for medical reasons, remains outlawed in Chili. Local web users are outraged and are demanding immediate changes to current legislation.
Many have turned to social media platforms to urge the authorities to legalize abortion particularly when the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother or unborn child. Web users have also pointed out that the harsh legislation only really affects the poor, because wealthy women have access to safe procedures, even if they break the law.
Chilean organization MILES is also campaigning for the decriminalization of therapeutic abortion, and has posted this petition and video online. The clip features some of Chile’s public figures urging their government to change current legislation to allow for the termination of high risk pregnancies.
The campaign for women to have the right to decide what to do with their bodies is reminiscent of the movement started in El Salvador back in May, in support of Beatriz, who was also facing a life threatening pregnancy. Thousands of web users had rallied behind her, appealing to the authorities to lift the abortion ban. The campaigning did not pay off unfortunately as the authorities denied the request and she was forced to give birth, but it did open up debate on what remains a highly sensitive issue in the country.
Now trending on social networks
Ice hockey fans in North America are not happy, and intent on making their feelings known via social networks. This is what upset them: a Twitter photo showing Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber posing with the Stanley Cup, the championship trophy awarded annually to the NHL playoff winner, and which this year went to the Chicago Blackhawks. Supporters of the club are up in arms, saying it’s a sacrilege to see a teen idol touching the legendary cup and they cannot understand what he had done to deserve such a privilege.
Explore Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley on Google Maps
Thanks to Google Maps, you can take a walk around Diagon Alley, the district in the Harry Potter stories, where witchcraft and wizardry students go to do their shopping and stock up on all sorts of supplies. You can take a closer look around the neighbourhood and even explore some of the shops, like Ollivanders, the magic wand store, or the Weasley twins joke shop: a real treat for Harry Potter fans everywhere.
Video of the day
Video gaming giants Sony and Microsoft will soon be releasing their new next generation consoles … and their upcoming battle is told here in Console Wars the Musical… Antonius and Vijay Nazareth came up with the excellent idea and produced this video inspired by West Side Story: a real must see available to view on all good sharing sites.