Catholic brotherhood ‘must share liability’ in UK abuse case

Updated 21 November 2012
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Catholic brotherhood ‘must share liability’ in UK abuse case

LONDON: A Catholic brotherhood which sent teachers to work at a residential school in England can be held legally responsible for the sexual abuse of boys over a 40-year period, senior judges ruled on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court ruling is considered a landmark judgment which could affect claims of abuse at other institutions because judges said the brotherhood must share liability along with the local diocese.
The court in London heard that about 170 men are seeking damages from the De La Salle Brotherhood after claiming they were abused at St. William’s school in East Yorkshire, northern England, between 1952 and 1992.
The school educated boys aged 10 to 16 with emotional and behavioral problems. It closed in 1994.
The headmaster of the school, James Carragher, was jailed for 14 years in 2004 for sexually abusing vulnerable boys over a period of 20 years.
The 170 claimants say they were abused by Carragher and other brothers at the school, judges said.
The Court of Appeal ruled in 2010 that the Catholic diocese in which the school lay — the Middlesbrough Diocese — was solely responsible for a compensation claim amounting to £8 million (10 million euros, $12.7 million).
But the Supreme Court judges ruled it was “fair, just and reasonable” for the De La Salle Brotherhood, also known as the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, to share liability with the diocese in this case.
Cases of sexual abuse at Catholic-run schools and children’s homes have rocked countries such as Ireland, the United States and Germany in recent years.


Rohingya refugees rescued after drifting at sea for 9 days

Updated 21 April 2018
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Rohingya refugees rescued after drifting at sea for 9 days

BIREUEN, Indonesia: A Rohingya Muslim man among the group of 76 rescued in Indonesian waters in a wooden boat says they were at sea for nine days after leaving Myanmar, where the minority group faces intense persecution, and were hoping to reach Malaysia.
The eight children, 25 women and 43 men were brought ashore on Friday afternoon at Bireuen in Aceh province on the island of Sumatra, the third known attempt by members of the ethnic minority to escape Myanmar by sea this month. Several required medical attention for dehydration and exhaustion, local authorities said.
Fariq Muhammad said he paid the equivalent of about $150 for a place on the boat that left from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where a violent military crackdown on the minority group has sparked an exodus of some 700,000 refugees over land into neighboring Bangladesh since August.
The refugee vessel was intercepted by a Thai navy frigate and later escorted by a Thai patrol vessel until sighting land, said Fariq. The group believed the Thais understood they wanted to reach Malaysia and were dismayed when they realized they were in Indonesia, said Fariq, who gave the identification numbers of the Thai vessels.
“We were forced to leave because we could not stay, could not work so our lives became difficult in Myanmar. Our identity card was not given so we were forced to go,” he told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Local officials and a charitable group are providing shelter and food for the refugees. The International Organization for Migration said it has sent a team from its Medan office in Sumatra, including Rohingya interpreters, to help local officials with humanitarian assistance.
Rohingya, treated as undesirables in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and denied citizenship, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year until security in Myanmar was tightened after a surge of refugees in 2015 caused regional alarm.
In April, there has been an apparent increase in Rohingya attempts to leave the country by sea. An Indonesian fishing boat rescued a group of five Rohingya in weak condition off westernmost Aceh province on April 6, after a 20-day voyage in which five other people died.
Just days before, Malaysian authorities intercepted a vessel carrying 56 people believed to be Rohingya refugees and brought the vessel and its passengers to shore.
Mohammad Saleem, part of the group that landed Friday in Aceh, said they left from Sittwe in Rakhine state, the location of displacement camps for Rohingya set up following attacks in 2012 by Buddhist mobs.
“We’re not allowed to do anything. We don’t have a livelihood,” the 25-year-old said. “We can only live in the camps with not enough food to eat there. We have no rights there.”