26 December 2006
By Salifu Abdul Rahaman
Thursday, 23 November 2006
THE growing incidence of mob instant justice in the country was the subject of comment by Members of Parliament (MP) at yesterday’s sitting.
This followed a statement by Alfred Agbesi (NDC – Ashaiman) expressing concern about the phenomena becoming "a great source of worry to many Ghanaians."
Mr Agbesi said in the immediate past months of August and September, a number of acts of mob action occurred in some parts of Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and other cities and towns.
He recalled that on August 23, a suspected thief was killed at Adabraka, Accra for allegedly stealing a mobile phone.
He said on August 28, two men who allegedly stole ¢5 million in Accra were stripped naked and beaten up mercilessly with metal rods.
"Mr Speaker, again on the same day, a 24-year-old alleged robber was flogged to death with iron rods at Pedu, Cape Coast."
"On September 10, the timely intervention of a team of policemen from Dansoman District Police Station saved the life of a suspected robber who was beaten up by a mob and taken for dead. He was later found in a pool of blood by residents of Zodiac, Dansoman," he said.
Mr Agbesi said on September 21, one Kwame Wrawra alias Daniel Dodi, alleged to be a notorious armed robber noted for bag and money snatching as well as robberies at homes and on the highways, was arrested in an operation in Tema.Dodi had his scrotum split open by an angry crowd which also poured boiled water on him.
"A resort to instant justice means a total disregard for society; total regard for each other, the rule of law, the criminal justice system and above all, the Constitution of the land," he said.
There will be total anarchy and confusion when aggrieved members of the
society take the law into their own hands and do what they consider to be just, he said.
While agreeing that crime in the society is rising everyday, Mr Agbesi said, "Those acts must be punished but they must be punished in accordance with the prescribed law."
Mr Agbesi appealed to the courts, prosecutors and all those in charge with the administration of justice to dispense justice with dispatch "for our people to have confidence and faith in the judicial system."
Volume 23 - Issue 23 ::
Nov. 18-Dec. 01, 2006
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU
Dalit blood on village square
IT is about 500 yards from Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange's hut to Khairlanji village square. Like all such villages the square is a hub of activity - the school, the village meeting hall and the common well are clustered at this point. It is surrounded by homes, including that of the sarpanch. It would be extremely difficult for anyone from the village to say they knew nothing about an incident in the square. Yet this is exactly what the people of Khairlanji say.
The Dalit family's Hut
Before sunset on September 29, a mob of about 40 Kunbis from Khairlanji entered Bhotmange's hut and dragged out his wife, daughter and two sons. Forty-year-old Surekha, 17-year-old Priyanka, 19-year-old Roshan and 21-year-old Sudhir were stripped naked and paraded to the village square where the women were probably raped. All of them were beaten with bicycle chains and other implements and their leg bones were broken, presumably to prevent their escape. Finally, they were killed by axe blows. According to the forensic report they died from,"intracranial haemorrhage and neurogenic shock". The bodies were loaded on to a bullock cart and dumped in a canal about two kilometres away.
Since no eyewitnesses have come forward, the sequence of events was reconstructed from forensic evidence and the information given by Rajan Gajbiye, who witnessed the victims being stripped. Gajbiye, a Dalit from neighbouring Dhusala and a friend of the family, was already on his way to Khairlanji when Priyanka called for help from her cell phone. He was fearful of the Bhotmanges being lynched because the same mob had descended on his village earlier that day searching for his cousin Siddharth, a police patil of his village. On September 3, following a land and labour-related dispute the Kunbis in Khairlangi assaulted him. At the time, the women of the Bhotmange family who witnessed the attack filed a police complaint
Photos of the victims at the local newspaper
Panchseela Shendge is a bit more forthcoming in her account, but her story appears to be tempered by fear: "We heard loud sounds from the direction of Bhotmange's house. People were saying `Catch them', `Stop them from running, hold them down' but we thought they were chasing cattle." She is a member of one of the two remaining Dalit families and one can understand why she does not want to say more.
The Sarpanch, Upasrao Khandate, says he was away in his fields and returned late (a fact challenged by Panchsheela Shendge, a Dalit). Khandate is one of the prime suspects named by Bhaiyyalal, who says he arrived at the moment when he saw his family being dragged out but was too scared to intervene. He hid himself for a while and then ran away to get help. Despite being named, the sarpanch was not among the 44 taken into custody. He denies knowledge of the murder and says no one from his village was involved. Superintendent of Police Bhandara Suresh Sagar told Frontline that many of the accused had confessed to the crime in front of the police, but not in front of a magistrate.
Priyanka strapped to a bullock cart. By now, men allegedly from the entire village of about 150 Powar and Kalar families had collected. Some shouted to the sarpanch to allow them to sexually assault the women. They raped the women and killed all four, even as their womenfolk looked on, mute spectators to a form of justice reserved for castes lower than theirs. One woman, Sudha Dhenge, reportedly did protest but was slapped into silence. She now says she was never there.
Surekha and Priyanka were stripped, paraded naked, beaten black and blue with bicycle chains, axes and bullock cart pokers. They were publicly gang raped until they died. Some raped them even after that, and finally, sticks and rods were shoved into their genitals. In the meantime,
Sudhir managed to contact the police from his mobile phone, but his phone had been smashed. Its pieces are now circumstantial evidence. Roshan and Sudhir were beaten up, their genitals mutilated, faces disfigured and their bodies tossed in the air, before they lay dead on the ground. Hiding behind a hut, Bhaiyyalal helplessly watched his family’s gruesome end. There was no one to call for help. Kherlanji had only two Mahar families; the rest were either perpetrators or spectators. An hour later, a village meeting was called and a diktat issued: no one was to say a word about the massacre.
Berg's body was found decapitated on May 8, 2004 on a Baghdad overpass by a U.S. military patrol. Berg's family was informed of his death on May 10. Military sources stated publicly at that time that Berg's body showed "signs of trauma", but did not disclose that he had been decapitated.
On May 11, 2004, the website of the militant Islamist group Muntada al-Ansar posted a video with the opening title of "Abu Musa'b al-Zarqawi slaughters an American", which shows Berg being decapitated. Al-Zarqawi had an association with the Al-Qaida movement as does Muntada al-Ansar. The video is about five and a half minutes long.
Berg is seen in the video wearing an orange jumpsuit. He identified himself: "My name is Nick Berg, my father's name is Michael, my mother's name is Susan. I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in West Chester, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia."
The video shows Berg surrounded by five men wearing ski masks and head scarves. A lengthy statement is read aloud. The statement says that Berg's killing was in direct retaliation for the abuse of prisoners by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib prison. The masked men then converge on Berg and decapitate him with a knife. A scream can be heard as men shout "Allahu Akbar."
On May 13, news outlets quoted a CIA source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that a voice analysis of the tape has led the agency to conclude that the masked man who reads the statement and carries out the killing is "with high probability" Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Nick Berg, in orange, seated, before his decapitation by the five men standing over him.During the video, the man reading the statement threatens further deaths: "We tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins ... slaughtered in this way." The video further threatens U.S. President George W. Bush and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
The video bears some similarities to the videotape showing the murder and decapitation of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. Like Pearl, Berg was Jewish, although it is uncertain whether his captors were aware of that. There are many differences noted with other decapitation videos, including the decapitation video of Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia and the video of Kim Sun-il in Iraq.
23 December 2006
A number of famous penises are said to be floating about the world, having various adventures long after their owners went toes-up. John Dillinger's is said to be in the Smithsonian, and the Russian Museum of Erotica proudly boasts Rasputin's. But the Holy Grail of infamous dongs is that of Napoleon Bonaparte. Bonaparte's autopsy was performed in 1821 by his personal doctor, in the presence of seventeen witnesses, including seven British doctors and a priest. Organs removed from Napoleon included his heart, which he requested be delivered to his wife, and his stomach, which the assembled experts agreed was ridden with cancer and the cause of Napoleon's demise. Accounts of the autopsy claim the penis was small (guy couldn't catch a break), but there's no mention of its removal. In 1916, the priest's descendants sold off a collection of Naploeonic relics that included "the mummified tendon taken from Napoleon's body during the post-mortem." The memento has since changed hands a number of times; the latest story is that American urologist John Lattimer bought it at auction in 1977. Lattimer defends its authenticity today, but it's hard to disagree with Sir Arthur Keith's 1913 argument that, given the number of witnesses at the autopsy, someone probably would have noticed if his penis went missing
The First Russian Sex Museum will Exhibit Rasputin’s Penis
News and photos from the Moscow News (28/04/2004)
The first Russian museum of erotica is opening in St. Petersburg, Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports. The museum is founded by Igor Knyazkin, the chief of the prostate research center in St. Petersburg of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences .
Knyazkin told the newspaper that museums of sex and erotica exist in many European countries and he wanted Russia to be a civilized country with a view on the future and with correct views on erotica.
There is one exhibit in the museum which makes Knyazkin be especially proud of. This is the 30-centimeter preserved penis of Grigory Rasputin [see photo].
Photo courtesy St. Petersburg Erotica Museum
“Having this exhibit, we can stop envying America, where Napoleon Bonaparte’s penis is now kept. … Napoleon’s penis is but a small ”pod“ it cannot stand comparison to our organ of 30 centimeters…” the head of the museum said.
Rasputin, nicknamed “Mad Monk” by historians was born in 1869 in Siberia, arrived in St. Petersburg in 1911 and within a few years had become one of the most influential men in government circles. His rise to preeminence was due to his close relationship with Nicholas II’s wife, Alexandra. The heir to the throne suffered from hemophaelia, and only Rasputin could stop the boy’s bleeding. Because of this, Alexandra believed he was a holy man sent to protect Alexis and she kept him close by at all times.
However, many historians point to the unusual cult that Rasputin practiced at the Emperors’ court — a strange mixture of Christianity and sexual practices. Many of the noble women were believed to be in sexual relations with Rasputin, possibly including the Empress.
At the end of 1916, a group of aristocrats decided that Rasputin’s influence had grown too great and that he had to be killed in order to save Russia. They lured him to the palace of one of the princes; fed him poisoned cakes and wine, shot him and then threw him into the frozen river.
The address of St. Petersburg museum of erotica:
Furshtatskaya embankment, 47/11a (metro Chernyshevskaya), tel.: (812) 320 76 00. Opened daily 8.00 to 21.30
11 December 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq - An angry mob of insurgents attacked a convoy of American contractors last month when they got lost in a town north of Baghdad, killing four and wounding two, the U.S. military said on Sunday.
The Sept. 20 attack in the mostly Sunni Arab town of Duluiyah, about 45 miles north of Baghdad, was reported for the first time on Saturday by the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph and confirmed by the military on Sunday.
The convoy, which included U.S. military guards riding in Humvees, made a wrong turn into Duluiyah and insurgents opened fire with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Maj. Richard Goldenberg, a spokesman for Task Force Liberty in north-central Iraq, told The Associated Press. ...
The Telegraph reported the contractors killed and wounded were employees of the Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, the biggest U.S. military contractor in Iraq. But Goldenberg could not confirm that.
The Telegraph reported that two of the contractors not killed in the initial attack were dragged alive from their vehicle, which had been badly shot up. They were forced to kneel in the road before being killed.
“Killing one of the men with a rifle round fired into the back of his head, they doused the other with petrol and set him alight,” the paper reported. “Barefoot children, yelping in delight, piled straw on to the screaming man’s body to stoke the flames.”
The crowd then “dragged their corpses through the street, chanting anti-U.S. slogans,” the report said.
With Hebrew captives, or with previously conquered nations, circumcision was a redundancy they could hardly afford -- it already having been done! That's probably why their humiliation was to only have their private parts manhandled by the Assyrian barbers out in front of God and everybody!
When, then, on the 10th of June 1810, the prince's body was conveyed to Stockholm and Fersen, in his official capacity as Riksnzarskalk, received it at the barrier and led the funeral cortege into the city, his fine carriage and his splendid robes seemed to the people an open derision of the general grief. The crowd began to murmur and presently to fling stones and cry "murderer !" He sought refuge in a house in the Riddarhus Square, but the mob rushed after him, brutally maltreated him and tore his robes to pieces. To quiet the people and save the unhappy victim, two officers volunteered to conduct him to the senate house and there place him in arrest. But he had no sooner mounted the steps leading to the entrance than the crowd, which had followed him all the way beating him with sticks and umbrellas, made a rush at him, knocked him down, and kicked and trampled him to death. This horrible outrage,which lasted more than an hour, happened, too, in the presence of numerous troops, drawn up in the Riddarhus Square, who made not the slightest effort to rescue the Riksmarskalk from his tormentors.
Paul and Silas are taken into the market place before the authorities. At the center of the marketplace of Philippi was the forum. On the north side of the forum stood a raised platform. It was known as the Bema -- the seat of judgment. It was here that Paul and Silas were brought.
And the crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them, and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks
Notice the mob mentality that is at work. This all takes place in the public square of the marketplace. The crowd gathers and it moves against Paul and Silas. The magistrates order the two men to be stripped of their clothes and beaten. Shame and pain are mixed together as many blows are inflicted. But that is not all. They are then thrown into prison and their feet are secured in stocks. They will be forced to sit in an uncomfortable position for hours upon end with no relief.
What would have been your attitude in such circumstances? Beaten, mocked, stripped naked, rejected, and now forced to sit in uncomfortable stocks amidst your own refuse in the most unsanitary conditions imaginable.
01 December 2006
Just this year, Islamic militants in Fallujah, a place the United States is making safe for democracy, paraded vendors convicted of selling alcohol through a public square, naked. This kind of shaming seems a throwback to an era when there was no legal system to mediate between the emotions of the mob and the wrongdoer, something courts and democracy were meant to avoid.
“The Bostonians paying the excise-man, or tarring and feathering.”
A 1774 British print depicted the tarring and feathering of Boston Commissioner of Customs John Malcolm. Tarring and feathering was a ritual of humiliation and public warning that stopped just short of serious injury. Victims included British officials such as Malcolm and American merchants who violated non-importation by importing British goods. Other forms of public humiliation included daubing victims’ homes with the contents of cesspits, or actual violence against property, such as the burning of stately homes and carriages. This anti-Patriot print showed Customs Commissioner Malcolm being attacked under the Liberty Tree by several Patriots, including a leather-aproned artisan, while the Boston Tea Party occurred in the background. In fact,
The offender could alternatively be sentenced to remain exposed in a specific public place, in a restraining device.
In the more extreme cases being subjected to verbal and physical abuse from the crowd, which could have serious consequences especially when the hands are not free to protect himself. Some sentences actually prescribe additional humilitation, such as shaving, or combine it with painful corporal punishments
The humiliation is generally intensified if the victim is unclothed (either partially or completely) as the exposure leaves the victim feeling vulnerable and helpless.
Even when not strictly public, humiliation can still be a psychologically "painful" aspect of punishment because of the presence of witnessing peers (such as fellow prisoners), relatives, staff or other onlookers, or simply because the tormentor witnesses how self-control is broken down. This is also true for punishments in class.
Robert Paul Prager
Robert P. Prager Taken from Jail and Strung Up to Tree by 300 Men and Boys After Officers are Overpowered
Robert P. Prager, 45 years old, of Collinsville, Ill., a coalminer, charged with making disloyal utterances against the United States and President Wilson, was hanged to a tree on Mauer Heights, one mile west of Collinsville on the St. Louis road, by a mob of 300 men an boys after he had twice escaped mob violence, at 12:15 o'clock this morning. Collinsville is ten miles northeast of East St. Louis. Prager was taken from the Collinsville Jail by the mob, which battered down the doors. The prisoner was found hidden under a pile of rubbish in the basement of the Jail, where he had been placed by the police when they had learned that the mob was on the way to the Jail. The police were overpowered, there being only four on the night force, and the prisoner was carried down the street, the mob cheering and waving flags. The police were not allowed to follow the mob by a guard which had been placed over them. When led to the tree upon which he was hanged Prager was asked if he had anything to say. "Yes," he replied in broken English. "I would like to pray. He then fell to his knees, clasped his hands to his breast and prayed for three minutes in German. Without another word the noose was placed about his neck and the body pulled 10 feet into the air by a hundred or more hands which grasped the rope. Before praying, Prager wrote a letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Henry Prager, Preston, Germany. It follows: "Dear Parents - I must this day, the 5th of April, 1918, die. "Please pray for me, my dear parents. This is my last letter. "Your dear son. "ROBERT PAUL PRAGER." Prager was an enemy alien and registered in East St. Louis.
Prager was marched just outside of town beyond the edge of the police jurisdiction, and in the early morning of April 5, 1918, the mob stripped him naked, wrapped him in an American flag, and hung him from a tree. Over two hundred people witnessed the murder and did nothing to help.
White man lynching in Texas-1929
Posted Monday, Dec. 2, 1929Last year ten Negroes were lynched in the land. Mississippi killed half of them. Louisiana and Texas ran neck and neck for second place with two each. Missouri brought up the rear with one. With five weeks of the year to run, the 1929 score of Negroes lynched stood last week at nine (Florida, three; Mississippi, two; Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, one each), when out of Texas came grisly news of another lynching. But this was a special lynching and did not alter Texas' position on the Black List. Instead of a Negro, the Texans lynched a white man.
On Christmas Eve, 1927, Marshall Ratliff disguised himself as Santa Claus and, with three companions, robbed a bank at Cisco, Tex., killed two policemen. Captured and condemned to death, Robber Ratliff was returned to the county jail at Eastland, Tex., to undergo a sanity test. Eastlanders grumbled at the law's delay. Feigning paralysis, Ratliff last week snatched a gun from Jailor Tom Jones, killed him, but failed to escape.
Next evening the Mob marched to Eastland jail. They dragged Murderer Ratliff from his bunk, stripped him of his clothes, paraded him 200 yards through the main streets to a telegraph pole. A rope jerked Ratliff off the ground, broke, let him down with a thump. Under the code of the Old West, when a lynching rope broke, the victim was freed. Eastland that night did not follow the Old West's code. Fifteen terrible minutes passed before a new grass rope was produced. Up went Ratliff a second time."Maybe he wants to talk," suggested a leading lyncher.
Down came Ratliff again. "Go on! Talk!" shouted the crowd. But the rope was around Ratliff's neck so tight that he could only gasp and sputter."Hell!" cried a lyncher. "He don't want to talk. String him up!"So up went Ratliff for the third and last time. Men, women and children gaped up in silence at his naked body as it swung for two hours in the wind.No one was ever tried in association with the lynching, although a grand jury was formed.
Several thousand persons viewed Ratliff's body the next day at a furniture store in Eastland before Judge Garrett ordered the corpse locked up. Ratliff's family took possession of the body and arranged for a funeral in Fort Worth, with burial at Olivet Cemetery. Many people in Cisco over the years have claimed to have been present at the robbery or related to someone who was, and it is now a part of local folklore.