International Tidings – October 29,2019

Bangladesh court sentences 16 people to death

In April, the murder of 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi in the small town of Feni, Bangladesh shocked the country and lead to a series of protests demanding justice for the young girl and highlighted the prolific sexual assault and harassment common in the country. Rafi was murdered after she accused a teacher of touching her inappropriately at an Islamic school in eastern Bangladesh. When she refused to withdraw her accusations, she was doused with kerosene and set on fire. She died in the hospital four days later. Last Thursday, a Bangladeshi court sentenced 16 people, including the head teacher that she had accused of touching her, to death on accounts of her murder. Rafi’s brutal death has become a symbol of abuse against women in Bangladesh. 


39 bodies discovered in truck in London

Last week, 39 bodies were found in the back of a refrigerated truck in southeast London. On Thursday, The New York Times released an article detailing the latest findings of the local authorities who believe the deceased are Chinese citizens and appear to be the most recent victims of a case of human trafficking. According to The New York Times, the case shows striking similarities to an incident in 2000 in which 58 Chinese migrants were found dead, also in a refrigerated truck, in Dover, Britain’s busiest port. 


Tanzania court upholds ruling against child marriage

Last week, Tanzania’s Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a law banning parents from marrying off their daughters as young as 15 years old. The judgment followed the long-running opposition to child marriage laws in the country and across the globe which human rights activists have been attempting to change for many years. According to a United Nations estimate, two out of every five girls are married before their 18th birthday, making Tanzania a country with one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.


Ancient roman villa reopened to public

The House of Bicentenary, an ancient Roman house near Pompeii, has been reopened to the public in the archaeological park of Herculaneum. The three-story, 600 sq meter home features a collection of frescoes and mosaic floors which were first discovered in 1938. The site was closed to the public in 1983 after falling into disrepair but has since reopened after undergoing 35 years of restoration. According to The Guardian, the town of Herculaneum is much smaller and less well known than the neighboring Pompeii, but is said to have been inhabited by wealthier residents and therefore contained a bigger share of lavish houses.

Photo: B. Davies

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