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March 27, 2015

What country deserves more condemnation for violating human rights than any other nation on earth? According to the U.N.'s top human rights body, that would be Israel.

Last week, Israel was the U.N.'s number one women's rights violator. This week it is the U.N.'s all-round human rights villain.

The U.N. Human Rights Council wrapped up its latest session in Geneva on Friday, March 27 by adopting four resolutions condemning Israel. That's four times more than any of the other 192 UN member states.

There were four resolutions on Israel. And one on North Korea -- a country that is home to government policies of torture, starvation, enslavement, rape, disappearances, and murder to name just a few of its human rights violations.

Four resolutions on Israel. And one on Syria. Where the death toll of four years of war is 100,000 civilians, ten million people are displaced, and barrel bombs containing chemical agents like chlorine gas are back in action.

Four resolutions on Israel. And one on Iran. Where there is no rule of law, no free elections, no freedom of speech, corruption is endemic, protestors are jailed and tortured, religious minorities are persecuted, and pedophilia is state-run. At last count, in 2012 Iranian courts ordered more than 30,000 girls ages 14 and under to be "married."

And what did that one resolution on Iran say? Co-sponsored by the United States, it was labelled a "short procedural text," consisting of just three operative paragraphs that contained not a single condemnation of Iran.

The Israel resolutions, on the other hand, were full of "demands," "condemns," "expresses grave concern," and "deplores" along with orders to "cease immediately" a long list of alleged human rights violations.

Ninety percent of states inhabited by 6.6 billion people got no mention at all. Countries like China, Qatar, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. For the UN, there was not one human rights violation worthy of mention by any of these human rights horror shows.

Why not? For starters, China, Qatar, Russia and Saudi Arabia are all members of the UN Human Rights Council. Actually protecting human rights is not a condition of being elected to the Council, and thereby transforming into a UN authority on what counts as a human rights violation.

As a result, what counts fast becomes unrecognizable. Subverting human rights principles for all turns out to be the other side of the coin from subverting human rights for Jews.

Thus at this session, "death to America" Iran sponsored a Council resolution called "Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights." It was adopted by consensus with U.S. blessing.

The Cubans successfully engineered a Council resolution on protecting "cultural rights" minus free expression.

The Palestinians whose unity government includes the terrorist group Hamas co-sponsored the resolution "effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights."

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation representing states where converting to Christianity is subject to the death penalty sponsored a resolution called "combating intolerance of persons based on religion or belief."

Playing at caring about human rights is the U.N. game. And no state does it better than Iran.

Iran's human rights record happened to come up at the March session in the context of what the Council calls a "universal periodic review" (UPR). Touted as its leading human rights innovation, the same process is applied to every state every four years.

That means Iran and Syria get treated the same way as, say, the United States and Canada. At the end of the UPR, a report is summarily adopted containing a bunch of recommendations that the former cast of characters summarily dismiss.

It was suggested to Iran, for instance, that it stop peddling little girls as sex slaves for old men. The recommendation received this reply: "in light of Islamic teachings, a person that has reached the age of maturity and is of sound mind has the possibility of marrying."

The Council created a human rights investigator on Iran, but Iran has never let him into the country. Recommendations made to Iran during the UPR that it cooperate, were simply ignored.

On March 19, 2014, the U.S. representative mustered all her courage and countered with this: "we note with disappointment that Iran has not addressed the issue of allowing the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran to visit the country..."

There is an alternative conclusion. We note with disappointment that the United States legitimizes this travesty and empowers the real enemies of human rights.

Israel Tops Iran as UN's #1 Human Rights Violator Article

EU Ambassador Peter Sorensen

The European Union criticized Israel at a U.N. Human Rights Council session specifically devoted to condemnation of Israel, despite admitting that the session unfairly ignored human rights abuses by Palestinian groups. At this session, known as Agenda Item 7, the EU representative stated:

"...Item 7 should be addressed by this council as any other specific country situation ... [The EU] reiterates its reservation regarding this mandate which is limited to 'investigate Israel's violations' only whereas we believe that all alleged human rights violations and abuses, regardless of the offending party, should be subject to scrutiny and investigated in accordance with international standards."

EU Denounces Unfair Treatment of Israel at UN's Israel-Bashing Session, But Participates Anyway Development

March 26, 2015

Hussam Edin Aala, Syrian Ambassador to UN in Geneva

While the Syrian conflict rages on, in which over 200,000 people have been massacred and millions displaced, Syria urged the UN to focus on Israel. Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Syria's representative said: "It [Israel] continues to perpetrate one massacre after another against innocent civilians ... Israel, the oldest and harshest violator of human rights in the UN."

Genocidal Syria Claims Israel is Harshest Violator of Human Rights To Distract From Own Atrocities Development

Ibrahim Khraishi, Palestinian Ambassador to UN in Geneva

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Palestinian Authority condemned Israel for "including nitrates in cells" of Palestinian detainees. The claim puts a new twist on an allegation which the Palestinian Authority has used in the past, namely that Israelis are poisoning Gazans with contaminants through the water supply.

Another Blood libel from Palestinian Authority: Tells UN Israel Poisoning Detainees Development

Mohsen Naziri Asl, Iranian Ambassador to UN in Geneva

Iran, the subject of Security Council sanctions for its illicit nuclear program and serial violator of international law, lectured the UN Human Rights Council about the importance of international law. "We stressed the urgent need for the international community to uphold its duties and to act decisively to sustain international law, international humanitarian law and international human rights and to ensure accountability for any violation and address the issue of penal sanctions ..."

Sanctions-buster Iran Uses UN Platform to Call for Criminal Sanctions Against Israel Development

Hussam Edin Aala, Syrian Ambassador to UN in Geneva

Syria's representative to the UN Human Rights Council said in Geneva that medical assistance for casualties of the Syrian war was wrong. "Today, Israel adds to its series of violations by supporting armed terrorist groups in the demilitarized zone in the Golan, including the Nasra Front, the terrorist arm of Al-Qaeda in Syria. This logistic support is provided by the Israeli Occupation Forces to these terrorist organizations... Furthermore, it treats these terrorists when they are wounded so that they can go back to fight the Syrian Army ..."

Syria also called for more Arab apartheid, or the elimination of Jews from Arab-claimed land. It told the Council: "Israel is ... escalating campaigns of colonization and Judaization, particularly in Jerusalem."

Assad Regime Criticizes Israel for Treating Victims of Syrian Atrocities, Calls for "De-Judaization" Development

Zamir Akram, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of 56 member states of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, told the U.N. Human Rights Council that all casualties from the 2014 Gaza War were civilians, and none were terrorists. In its words: "Last summer, the international community witnessed one of Israel's most brutal criminal military aggressions against the Palestinian civilian occupation in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the killing of more than 2,256 Palestinian civilians..."

The most recent examination of actual casualties from the Gaza war indicate that approximately 50% were terrorists. According to an investigation by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, "The findings of our investigation so far based on an examination of approximately 61% of the names of the dead) suggest that fatalities affiliated with terrorist organizations constitute approximately 48.7% of the names that have been identified, and non-involved civilians constitute approximately 51.3%. This ratio may vary in the future...[T]he following distribution of the 1,314 fatalities examined to date: A. 553 of those killed were affiliated with terrorist organizations. B. 583 of those killed were non-involved civilians. C. 178 of those killed (approximately 13.5% of all the names that have been examined) are unidentified at this stage. Therefore, it is not possible to determine whether they were affiliated with terrorist organizations or non-involved civilians."

For more information on the Meir Amit Report, please click here.

Islamic States Tell UN Human Rights Council That Only Civilians Killed in 2014 Gaza War - No Terrorists Development

March 25, 2015

IAEA General Director Yukiya Amano

Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has expressed concern about the IAEA's inability to conclude that Iran's nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes. Speaking at the 2015 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, he warned:

"As far as the Agency's own work to implement safeguards in Iran is concerned, we continue to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran. But we are still not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

The Framework for Cooperation worked for the first few months to help improve our understanding of Iran's nuclear programme. Progress has been very limited in clarifying issues with possible military dimensions...

Two things are of special importance for the Agency.

First, with the cooperation of Iran, the Agency needs to clarify issues with possible military dimensions to the satisfaction of our Member States...

Second, Iran needs to implement the additional protocol so that the Agency can provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran."

UN's Atomic Energy Agency Chief Says He Cannot Verify Iran's Program is Peaceful Development

Survivors of recent Boko Haram attack (file photo)

Hundreds of civilians, including many children, have been abducted and are being used as human shields by Boko Haram extremists, a top Nigerian official confirmed Wednesday.

Several hundred people were taken captive by the Islamic militants as they retreated earlier this month from Damasak in northeastern Nigeria, Mike Omeri, the Nigerian spokesman for the fight against Boko Haram, told The Associated Press Wednesday. He said he could not specify how many were taken captive but local reports say as many as 500 people were seized.

When troops from Chad and Niger advanced toward Damasak, Boko Haram began taking captives, said Omeri.

"Boko Haram ... rushed to primary schools they took children and adults that they are using as shields to protect themselves from the menacing advance of troops," said Omeri. "They are being used as shields by Boko Haram."

TWEET: Boko Haram seizes 100s of Nigerians, including school kids to use as shields against Chad/Niger troops.

Damasak, near the border with Niger, was recaptured from Boko Haram on March 16. The mass abduction happened as the extremists were fleeing the advancing troops and information about the seizures of civilians has only been confirmed now.

The soldiers who recaptured Damasak found the town largely deserted. Damasak had been held for months by Boko Haram, who used the trading town as an administrative center.

The troops from Chad and Niger who now hold Damasak have discovered evidence of a mass grave, Chad's ambassador to the U.N. Mahamat Zene Cherif confirmed Wednesday.

International assistance is needed for the thousands of Nigerian refugees who have fled the violence, said the head of the U.N. refugee agency.

Some 74,000 Nigerians have fled to neighboring Cameroon, according to the agency. Over 100,000 more have flooded into Chad and Niger. Troops from the three countries are now helping Nigeria to combat the militants and win back Nigerian towns.

The refugee agency will funnel more resources to Cameroon, said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres on Wednesday while visiting Maroua, the capital of Cameroon's Far North region. He stressed that additional assistance is needed.

"Cameroon is today not only a very important protection space for refugees, but it is in the first line of defense of the international community," he said.

The U.N. agency says the Nigerian crisis is one of the most underfunded in the world. In February, the agency asked for $71 million to assist displaced people in Nigeria and neighboring countries; already that figure appears to be too low, it said this week. Thus far, it has received only $6.8 million in donations, he said.

Boko Haram Abducts Hundreds of Nigerian Civilians Document

Woman stoned by Islamic State late January 2015 (file photo)

Islamic State militants in Iraq on Tuesday publicly stoned a man and woman to death on charges of adultery, parading the victims in a public square in the northern city of Mosul, according to witnesses and an Iraqi military official.

Later in the day, the militants publicly beheaded three young men on a street in central Mosul, accusing them of being the nephews of a political opponent of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

They were the latest in a series of public executions of people accused of social offenses in the city, which the militants wrested from Iraqi control last June.

The stoning victims, who were not identified, were in their 20s, witnesses said. The woman was described as being married. It was not known whether they had been given a trial, but none was held in public.

Abu Mohammad al-Lahibi, who runs a clothing store in Mosul, said he had seen the militants gathering several hundred residents in front of the government building in Mosul to witness the execution. The couple were handcuffed, and the woman was wearing a niqab, or full face veil.

"Twelve ISIS militants were standing there who had bags with them filled with stones, and they began throwing the stones at them, and after the third stone the woman was killed," Mr. Lahibi said. The man died a short while later, he said.

Another witness said he had tried to record video of the execution on his cellphone but was ordered by the militants not to do so.

"I was moved by the crying of this woman, who started bleeding and then died from the stoning," said the witness, Saad, who gave only his first name out of concern for his safety. "I was standing there helpless. The government has left us as captives in the hands of ISIS, who make all kinds of crimes in the city. The more I see their crimes, the more I hate them and realize they have come to carry out a paid agenda to destroy the city and its history and civilization and to defame the image of Islam."

As she concluded a three-day trip to Iraq on Tuesday, Catherine Russell, the Obama administration's ambassador on women's issues, said in a telephone interview: "It is truly horrifying. ISIL is just trying to suppress and subjugate women and doing so through sheer brutality and terror."

Ms. Russell related being told by women's representatives from Mosul that the militants went door to door "looking for girls to marry and boys to be fighters."

The stoning was confirmed by an Iraqi military officer, Col. Ahmed al-Jiboori, who is stationed at the Nineveh Liberation Camp east of Mosul. Colonel Jiboori also said that Kurdish pesh merga fighters in the area stopped an Islamic State attack east of the city, on Bashiqa Mountain, on Tuesday, killing 11 militants.

Local residents said there had been more than a dozen executions by stoning since the militants began the practice in Mosul in August.

The three men who were beheaded on Tuesday were described by witnesses as being in their late 20s. After a rumor got out that their uncle had met with the Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, ISIS militants came to the uncle's home and took the three young men to a public street where they were killed.

Such attacks have led some Mosul residents to express urgency for an Iraqi government campaign to retake the city. But the progress of a pro-government offensive against ISIS has been slow, with the main force stuck around the city of Tikrit, south of Mosul, for four weeks. The government announced last week that it was on the verge of capturing Tikrit from the militants, but it more recently said that it was consolidating its forces around the city to minimize casualties, as the militants hold out in the center.

Some 30,000 Iraqi troops and Shiite-dominated militias were involved in the effort against militants in Tikrit, who are believed to number in the hundreds or low thousands. Some 30,000 Iraqi troops and Shiite-dominated militias were involved in the effort against militants in Tikrit, who are believed to number in the hundreds or low thousands.

On March 12, Iraqi officials announced that they were within days of completely subduing Tikrit and were doing so without help from the American-led coalition. When that did not happen, however, some said the lack of coalition airstrikes was to blame. Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, the Iraqi military commander in Salahuddin Province, said that he had requested coalition airstrikes but that they had not come. Earlier, American officials had said that Iraqi officials had not requested help.

On Sunday, Hadi al-Ameri, the head of Iraq's popular mobilization forces, as the Shiite-dominated militias are known, reacted contemptuously to such concerns. "Some of the weaklings in the army say that we need the Americans, but we say we do not need the Americans," he said.

In remarks on Tuesday, General Saadi said he wanted to see Iraqi airstrikes, but did not mention coalition ones.

"We are taking the necessary steps to protect our forces, and the tribes will hold the ground after we liberate the territory," he said on Iraqi television, explaining the delay in subduing Tikrit.

Islamic State Militants Stone an Iraqi Couple Accused of Adultery Document

Islamic State terrorists (file photo)

SOHR documented the death of 54 Syrian citizens ( 20 children and 15 women ) in addition to men and fighters in YPG, were killed by targeting their night celebrations by IS suicide explosions in al-Hasakah citym the number is likely to rise according to the serious injuries.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes that this massacre is an attempt by the IS to destroy the culture of life and freedom in Syria, and that what al-Assad regime is doing in Syria by killing everyone who asks for freedom and democracy.

We in SOHR calls for the UN security council to refer these massacres and war crimes against the people of Syria to the international criminal court, because our people raised against the oppressors asking for freedom, democracy, equality and justice

54 Civilians Including 35 Children Killed By Islamic State Massacre in Al-Hasakah City Document

Islamic State video shows child soldiers being trained (file photo)

IS Organization continues to attract and recruit children within its ranks under what so called "Ashbal al- Khilafah" (cubs of the caliphate), where SOHR could document joining of at least 400 children to IS Organization since the beginning of this year until March 23 within IS- held areas in Syria. Meanwhile, the organization has witnessed joining of at least 120 new jihadists since the beginning of this year. The last three months are considered the least in terms of proportion of joining to IS by fighters from all nationalities since the declaration of its own alleged "Caliphate" in June 28, 2014.

Syrian regions like the two cities of al- Mayadin and al- Bokamal had witnessed opening what so called offices of "Ashbal al- Khilafah" that recruit children to IS. These offices work on convincing and attracting the children who live near IS posts and who go to schools and mosques, the children who want to join IS without the approval of their parents and the children who come to the squares where the operations of executions, whipping, crucifying and beheading, and stoning carried out. The organization also induces the parents and guardians to send their sons to these camps where the children undergo to Sharia and military courses. The Shariaa course firms IS ideology inside the brain of those children while the military one teaches them how to use weapons and fight the enemies during clashes, battles and storms. IS also tries to lure the children by money, weapons and cars in order to convince them to join its own camps. In addition to, IS receives and takes care of children who suffer from congenital malformation. IS uses children to work as spies and agents to gather news and as guards on its own posts.

In January 25, 2015, SOHR documented that IS organization sent a battalion consisting of about 140 members, vast majority under the age of 18 and newly joined the training camps of Islamic battalions, to the battlefronts in the city of Kobani, where SOHR could document death of 6 members who are under the age of 18.

Islamic State Recruits More Than 400 Children From "Ashbal Al- Khilafah" Document

President Barack Obama

"Q Will you consider supporting Palestinian statehood at the U.N.?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We're going to do that evaluation -- we're going to partly wait for an actual Israeli government to form."

Reversing Long-standing U.S. Policy, Obama Considering Using UN to Create Palestinian State Instead of Negotiated Deal Article

March 24, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama

"It didn't take 24 hours for President Obama's duplicitous stripes to show after Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party victory. Reeling from the sting of failure to corral Israel's liberal and Arab voter base behind his retreat strategy for the encircled nation, Obama immediately floated Plan B-United Nations running interference.

Par for the course (pun intended), the president falls back on making an appeal for international support for an agenda that he knows the American people will not approve...

Should Obama take the route of attempting to compel Israel's capitulation on a hostile Palestinian state by approaching the UN, Congress would have a powerful countering voice. As a separate but equal branch of government, Congress has already demonstrated its continued support for Israel's survival in the midst of virulent regional opposition.

Obama's end-run around both Israel and Congress is also evident in his rush to cement an obviously detrimental deal with Iran. Experts have made it plain that once the economic sanctions are disposed there will be nothing left to leverage against Iran forging ahead with their nuclear program, nor will reinstatement be possible."

President Provokes Israel & Congress with UN, Iran, Vote Mandate Article

Idriss Jazairy, former Algerian representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council, will investigate Western sanctions as possible human rights violations.

"The U.N. Human Rights Council this week will appoint an official whose job is to examine Western sanctions, viewed as constituting human rights violations against the targeted countries. The newly-created post, established by a resolution introduced by Iran, will go to a veteran Algerian diplomat [Idriss Jazairy] who in his application expressed concern about U.S. and European sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis... The new mandate was created in an HRC resolution last fall that was introduced by Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement... The 31 votes in favor came from African, Asian and Latin American members including Cuba, China, Pakistan Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Vietnam. The 14 opposing votes came from the U.S., European democracies, South Korea and Japan... Jazairy raised eyebrows when during preparations for a controversial anti-racism conference he played down concerns that it may be used as a platform for anti-semitism by saying, 'Anti-semitism targets Arabs who are also Semites and by extension, the whole Muslim community.' In 2010 Jazairy accused Israel of international piracy after an Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza in May 2010. Later that year, the Algerian diplomat praised the Libyan regime for its efforts 'to promote human rights.' Three months later Muammar Gaddafi harshly suppressed protests against his 41-year rule, and within another six months the regime had fallen."

U.N. Agency to Examine If Western Sanctions Violate Human Rights Article

March 23, 2015

Afghan women carrying the coffin of Farkhunda

A band of 30 Afghan women carried the body of murdered student Farkhunda through the streets of Kabul yesterday, defying the girl's murderers in order to give her a proper burial. They speak to The Daily Beast about their immense act of courage.

Yesterday, a courageous band of about 30 Afghan women, many of them clad in black scarves and some in black outfits, did something remarkable: they literally shouldered the young woman beaten and burned to death by a mob in Kabul, carrying upon their shoulders her heavy wooden coffin, draped with an ornate green cloth, decorated with verses from the Quran. Bouquets of flowers, still in their clear plastic, lay upon the covering.

Last Thursday afternoon, scores of clean-shaven men, wearing neat pants and shirts for a visit to the Shah-Do Shamshira mosque, or the "The King of Two Swords," in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, turned into a violent mob, shouting "Allahu Akbar" and beating and stomping a student of Islam, Farkhunda, 28, on the false rumor she had burnt a Quran. After pummeling her, the men ran over her with a Toyota hatchback, dumping her body on the banks of the Kabul River and lighting her on fire. Photos and videos of the murderous rampage shocked the world, just hours later, when they posted on Facebook and social media.

26 men have been arrested in connection to the homicide.

Three days later, more than 1,000 gathered for her funeral in the Afghan capital.

"Maa hama Farkhunda yem," the women chanted at her gravesite. "We are all Farkhunda."

"Maa edalat mikhohim!" they added. "We want justice!"

The symbolic assertion of power and strength by the women, defying a puritanical ban against women at cemeteries, is a hopeful expression for women-and men-in traditional Muslim communities, rejecting antiquated interpretations of Islam that subordinate women, denying them fundamental human rights, such as the right to simply grieve at a gravesite. From Mumbai, India, to Hayward, Calif., mullahs, or religious clerics, ban women from burials, citing an interpretation of Islam, largely exported by the Saudi expression of Taliban Islam that denies women the right to drive cars, vote or run for political office.

Around the globe, from cities in Afghanistan to Toronto and Washington D.C., Afghans plan vigils and protests to demand accountability from the new Afghan government, asking tough questions on police training and rule of law. Afghans in the DC area plan a protest at the Capitol Wednesday to coincide with a visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah. "This was a crime against humanity," said Zahra Sultani, an Afghan college student near Toronto where she is running a "If you aren't able to protect a citizen from other citizens, how in the hell are you going to deal with bigger challenge like ISIS and the Taliban?"

The protests and the defiance of tradition by the Afghan women in Kabul underscores how many Afghans, angry over the murder, have reached a tipping point in their demand for human rights in the country. Some of the most offended Afghans are the pious who believe in a tolerant and just Islam. They feel their religion was hijacked. In lengthy interviews in English and Farsi, also known as Dari by some, Afghan women who participated in the prayer told us why they took the weight of Farkhunda's coffin upon their shoulders.

For two days-Friday and Saturday-Sahraa Karimi, director of a film, "Afghan Women Behind the Wheel," about women learning to drive, said she couldn't leave her house upon hearing the news of Farkhunda's murder, not even celebrating the Persian New Year, Nowruz. Then Saturday night, a group of women did a pilgrimage: to the Shah-Do Shamshira mosque where Farkhunda was slain.

"It is something so painful," said Karimi.

The women made a bold decision to go to Farkhunda's house to try to carry her coffin. The next day, around 8 a.m., about a dozen women stood outside the home of Farkhunda's family in a neighborhood in Kabul. They included a closely-knit group of local women's rights activists, like Shakila Ibrahimkhail, an Afghan journalist; Pari Akbar and Nargis Azaryun, 21, activists for youth; and Bahar Sohaili, a flight attendant.

They waited for an ambulance to bring Farkhunda's remains. When it arrived, three of the women-Karimi, Ibrahimkhalil and Azaryun-spoke to Farkhunda's brothers, sisters and family.

They asked them politely: "We want to carry the coffin to the graveyard," recalls Azaryun, the youth volunteer.

Elnaz Arabzada, a professor of sociology in Kabul, was waiting anxiously for the answer. That morning, after the pre-dawn prayer, she had seen a Facebook post about the morning gathering. Three months pregnant, she recalls, "I was trying to convince my family that nothing will happen." She hadn't slept since Farkhundah's murder. "I needed some place to shout and cry loud," she says.

Finally, her family convinced, she took a taxi to Farkhundah's home to join the women. Soon after, she got word: the family had given the women permission to carry Farkhunda's remains in her coffin.

For Azaryun, the youth activist, she felt a visible relief. "I personally could breathe after that," she says.

At Farkhunda's home, Azaryun saw the devastated remains, the young woman's face brutalized. She thought: "The people who did it to her should be punished." Then they followed the ambulance with the body, snaking through traffic for about 20 minutes to Pansad Family Cemetery.

There, after first taking the coffin to a space in the graveyard where mourners prostrated to do a final prayer, the women hoisted the coffin upon their shoulders for the 30 minutes walk to Farkhunda's final burial spot.

Arabzada was struck by men weeping around her, many of them seemingly not related to the victim. "I was waiting to see if men would sit silent in this journey," she says. "If they did, I would run away. I would sell everything and no longer live here. My husband even said we would seek a smuggler to take us out but when we saw the actions of civil society, it made us hopeful."

At the cemetery, some women wore masks of a bloody face to symbolize a shocking much-circulated image of Farkhunda after the attack. Farzana Wahidy, a renowned Afghan photographer, carried the coffin upon her shoulder, not far from Frozan Marofi, a social empowerment manager at a local radio station, who had the coffin on her left shoulder. She stood near her daughter, Regwida Neayish.

Nearby, Munera Yousufzada, a political scientist and civil society activist, wearing an orange shirt, carried the coffin on right shoulder.

Neayish, a medical student, stood among the women, performing this Herculean task, not just in body but in spirit. "I was just crying," she says. "It was a long trek and I injured myself but all my energy was focused on giving Farkhunda a respectable burial. It was the first time I realized my real power and told myself that I'm breaking the boundaries of tradition."

At the grave, Lina Alam, an actress, stood there with several women, as the coffin was lowered into the earth. Alam voiced fear that some of the mourners might also be Farkhunda's attackers.

Suddenly, a prominent mullah appeared. He was Mohammad Ayaz Niazi, a cleric who had supported the murder on video two days earlier. Marofi, the social engagement manager, shouted: "You are not allowed to do the janaza," the funeral prayer. "Leave!"

Activists are demanding for him and other officials, including a woman, Simin Hassanzada, the deputy for publication at the ministry of information and culture, to step down from their positions for defending Farkhunda's attackers. Both have apologized but activists say that's not enough.

A fallen sister was buried, and one of her brothers stood before the women and declared, "If I have lost my sister, I have found 30 other sisters today."

The weight of the coffin still fresh, Arabzada has a simple prayer: that she "won't ever have to carry another women's coffin."

The intention was not to rebuff men, Azaryun, the youth activist, says. "I didn't pick the coffin up to tell the men that they are less of a man or anything like that. I picked it up because I wanted to tell the women in this country that if we want to achieve anything we should set up, and do what we want to do. Do it like a woman. And if we stick together, we break taboos. We proved it yesterday. No one could stop us yesterday from being by Farkhunda's side because we were together and supporters of each other."

She adds: "That is what Farkhunda teaches me: together we can change the narrative that others write about women. We stood up against the most respected mullah. We carried the coffin and buried her. If we as women stand together, we can achieve a great change."

As they resisted the mullah's efforts to say a prayer, the women performed one more courageous act of resistance: they interlocked hands and created a circle around Farkhunda's gravesite, until the mullah-with his regressive ideas-departed.

Afghan Women Defy Mullahs To Bury Murdered Girl Document

Jews pushing back against attackers

A drunken mob of more than 20 thugs shouted "kill the Jews" as they stormed into a north London synagogue while young worshippers celebrated the end of the sabbath.

The anti-Semitic abuse was hurled by the group of men and women as they first beat up a young man outside before chasing him inside, breaking windows and attacking others.

Part of the chaotic incident in Stamford Hill was captured on video before the intruders were beaten back as the worshippers grabbed chairs to protect themselves.

Scotland Yard said six people - four men and two women - were later arrested on suspicion of public order offences and assault.

Synagogue elders, including Rabbi Maurice Davis, are convinced the attack was not religiously motivated and was merely a typical example of anti-social behaviour.

Young people were gathered together inside the Ahavas Torah synagogue when more than 20 partygoers tried to force their way into the building around 1.15am on Sunday.

They had attacked a Jewish youth outside and, when he took refuge inside the synagogue, they chased after him and attacked some of the boys inside.

Scotland Yard are treating the incident as an anti-Semitic attack, while some of the victims and their friends are fearful of further violence.

Meir Taub, who is a member of the local Shomrim, a Jewish patrol designed to crack down on violence against Jews, said he was called to the incident shortly after it began and was the first to call the police.

He said: "I came down and there was a huge group of people, men and women, trying to force their way into the synagogue.

"The window had already been smashed. Teenagers were shouting abuse. It was blatantly anti-Semitic, they came and attacked a synagogue."

Mr Taub added: "I was on the phone to the police all the time, I didn't interfere but others did. The number of these incidents has increased in the past few months, since before Charlie Hebdo. We're stepping up patrols and working with the police. The courts should take attacks like this seriously.

"I have clear footage which I'm going to show to the police, which clearly shows there were anti-Semitic chants."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The disturbance began when a group of drunk males, believed to have walked to the area from a house party nearby, tried to gain access to the synagogue.

"One man was injured as he sought to prevent the group from entering the building. He sustained facial injuries, not believed to be serious, and was taken to hospital for treatment.

"A small number of the group did briefly gain entry to the synagogue before being removed by security staff."

He added: "The incident is being treated as an anti-Semitic incident, due to remarks made by one of the group. However there is nothing to suggest that it was a planned or targeted attack.

"Six males were arrested for public order offences and assault. All were taken to a north London police station where they remain in custody."

Inspector Jonathan Waterfield said: "We are investigating to establish the full circumstances of the incident and to identify anyone else involved in the disturbance who has not yet been arrested.

"We have also increased police patrols in the Stamford Hill area to provide reassurance to the community."

Mob Launches Anti-Semitic Attack On Stamford Hill Synagogue Document