United States

United States: Female Genital Mutilation and Political Asylum—The Case of Fauziya Kasinga

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1996 Apr 1

Fauziya Kasinga has been in detention since 17 December 1994, the day she arrived in the United States seeking political asylum. She was seventeen years old, and had fled her home country of Togo immediately following a forced marriage to a 45-year-old man with three other wives. Although Fauziya refused to sign the marriage certificate, she was declared wed and confined to a storage room to await the arrival of a circumciser who would subject her to female genital mutilation (FGM).

What You Can Do: 

Write to Attorney General Janet Reno and to INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, calling for the release of Fauziya Kasinga and for reissuance of the May 1995 guidelines by the INS as regulations that would be binding both on asylum officers and immigration judges. Recall that at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, on behalf of the United States, affirmed that "it is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation."

The Honorable Janet Reno
Attorney General
Department of Justice
Room 4400
Tenth and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
Fax: 202-514-4371

The Honorable Doris Meissner
Commissioner
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Room 7100
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
Fax: 202-514-3296

United States: Judicial Misconduct in the State of Maryland - The Peacock Case

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1994 Dec 1

On October 17, 1994, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland, Judge Robert E. Cahill sentenced Kenneth Peacock for killing his wife Sandra on February 9, several hours after he found her in bed with another man. In delivering his decision at the sentencing hearing, Judge Cahill said, "I seriously wonder how many married men...would have the strength to walk away...without inflicting some corporal punishment, whatever that punishment might be.

What You Can Do: 

Join the efforts of women's organizations in Maryland to protest Judge Cahill's demonstrated insensitivity to the most extreme violence against women. Write to the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities, asking them to investigate the Peacock case and take appropriate disciplinary action to demonstrate that the State of Maryland is committed to equal protection of the law, including the protection of women from domestic violence. Acknowledge the efforts of the Commission to reprimand Judge Bollinger for his conduct in the Gillette case but note that these efforts do not appear to have had much effect on the judge, indicating that more forceful action might be required in such cases. Contact the media and ask them to publicize the case of Judge Cahill. Send copies of your letters, and of any press clippings, to the Select Committee on Gender Equality and to the Women's Law Center.

The Honorable Theodore G. Bloom, Chair
Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities
Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
Courts of Appeal Building
361 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Select Committee on Gender Equality
Courts of Appeal Building
361 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

The Women's Law Center
P.O. Box 5362
Lutherville, MD 21094-5362

Sex Tourism: Big Apple Oriental Tours Acquitted of State Criminal Charges. Federal Action Needed to Prosecute G.F. Tours and other U.S.-Based Sex Tour Operators

Update: 
Not an update

In 1996, Equality Now launched a Women’s Action campaign calling for the prosecution of Big Apple Oriental Tours (BAOT). At the time, the company was advertising a twelve-day trip to the Philippines for sex tourists at the cost of $2,195, which included transportation, airfare, hotel room, and the ability of the sex tourist to “select your companion upon arrival in Angeles City” in a commercial sex transaction that would be brokered by a BAOT representative at the customer’s request.

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