France starts inquest into Amiens riots

Updated 16 August 2012
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France starts inquest into Amiens riots

AMIENS, FRANCE: The French city of Amiens yesterday began a costly cleanup after two nights of rioting that left France again asking itself what to do about marginalized urban neighbourhoods that have regularly erupted into violence in the past decade.
The city's northern quarter was calm overnight, 24 hours after rampaging youths torched cars and public buildings, hurled explosives improvised from fireworks and fired buckshot at police.
France's Interior Ministry announced yesterday that a heavy police presence would be maintained in the neighbourhood for several days to ensure there was no repeat.
Around 250 officers were deployed overnight following clashes in which 16 officers were injured, one of them seriously.
“The reinforcements will remain deployed over the next few days and nights to ensure a complete return to normal,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.
Valls promised a crackdown on “troublemakers” would be balanced by attempts to foster a partnership between police and the local community in order to avoid further conflict.
Gilles Demailly, the mayor of the city some 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Paris, said the cost of repairing or rebuilding public buildings that were damaged or destroyed could run to six million euros (about $7.4 million).
The scale of the damage — a sports centre and a primary school suffered extensive fire damage — made the Amiens riot the most serious incident of its kind since the Villeneuve suburb of Grenoble exploded two years ago.
France's Socialist government has promised a tough response with Valls warning that no amount of social deprivation could excuse firing at police or burning public buildings.
“The rule of law, order and justice has to be re-established here in Amiens and the police will be given the means to ensure that they are,” he vowed.
President Francois Hollande has promised to boost police numbers in some of France's most deprived urban areas and said that the fight against crime will be spared the cutbacks most government departments face.

 

 


Indonesian president urged to ban child marriage

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indonesian president urged to ban child marriage

JAKARTA: Women’s rights activists in Indonesia are pushing President Joko Widodo to issue a presidential regulation that will make child marriage illegal in the country, where its prevalence is one of the highest in world.
They recently submitted their proposed draft of a presidential regulation to Widodo, in lieu of a law to prevent and abolish early marriage.
Naila Rizqi Zakiah, one of the 18 activists invited to meet with him, said they raised three issues: Child marriage, the bill to amend the criminal code, and the bill against sexual violence.
“The first issue the president responded to was child marriage,” Zakiah told Arab News. “We asked him to issue a presidential regulation in lieu of a law to prevent and stop child marriage. We’ve come up with a draft, and we submitted it to him for his perusal.”
She said Widodo responded “positively” to the proposal after they explained to him that child marriage could deny children their basic human rights and hinder national development.
“We submitted this draft because we think rampant child marriage in the country is an emergency situation, while the procedure in Parliament to amend the articles on the minimum age to marry in the marriage law could be lengthy,” Zakiah said.
The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection has urged Parliament to prioritize amending the 1974 marriage law to raise the minimum age for females to marry to 20 and for males to 22.

 

 The law requires parental permission for those under 21 who want to marry. The minimum legal age for women to marry is 16, and 19 for men.
Parents can request a legal exemption from a religious court to marry children younger than that, with no limit on the minimum age.
Women’s and child rights activists have been advocating to raise the minimum legal age for females to marry to 18, in line with the child protection law that categorizes those under 18 as minors.
“It’s still not the ideal age to get married, but would be the minimum (acceptable),” Maria Ulfa Anshor, a commissioner for the Indonesian Child Protection Commission, told Arab News.
“We’ve been waiting for so long for this move, especially since the risks and dangers of child marriage, such as the high maternal mortality rate, are so real,” she added. “I hope there will be no more child marriage, because the courts give exemptions to do so.”
According to UNICEF, child marriage in Indonesia is rampant, with more than one in six girls, or 340,000, getting married every year before they reach adulthood.
Child marriage is most prevalent among girls who are 16 and 17, but there has been a decline among under-15s.
The debate about banning child marriage resurfaced following media reports of a 14-year-old girl and her 15-year-old boyfriend in South Sulawesi province who sought an exemption from a religious court to get married, which they obtained. They reportedly got married on Monday.

FACTOID

Child Marriage

According to UNICEF, 14 percent of girls in Indonesia are married before the age of 18, while 1 percent marry before the age of 15.