April 12, 2007

TOP STORIES * April 5-11

U.N. Fund Fails Pakistani Gulf War Refugees

Thousands of rural Pakistanis displaced from Kuwait by the first Gulf War never found out about a $263 million compensation fund set up by the United Nations. Now the program has closed, after 95 percent of claims were rejected as duplicates or false.

Critics say a third-party foundation mismanaged the funds, and many war victims were never allowed to submit their claims.

Bigotry Stalks Gays in Chile

Two transgender prostitutes were murdered in Chile in March, the latest in a spate of killings dating back five years. Activists say that many cases aren’t prosecuted, and that one accused murderer never served time after paying bail of $925 and telling reporters, “turns out it’s cheap to kill a faggot,” the Santiago Times reports.

Honor’s Deadly Jordan Toll

A women’s advocate says there is “no political will” to combat the killing of women and girls by their relatives for affronts to family honor. They are strangled or beaten to death for falling in love with the wrong man, teenage flirtation, hosting male guests and more, the U.N news agency reports.

Those who commit “honor killings” are exempt from Jordan’s death penalty, and perpetrators are often treated sympathetically by their communities. Lawmakers voted against a reform bill over fears of angering their constituents.

Sources:

“Pakistan: no compensation for thousands of Gulf War victims”
ADNKronos (Italy), April 6, 2007

“Honor killings still tolerated in Jordan”
IRIN (U.N.), April 6, 2007

“Transgender murders in Chile increasing”
Santiago Times (Chile), April 4, 2007

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