Russian tourist allegedly gang-raped in India

A protester stands with a placard during a protest against rape near the Indian parliament in New Delhi on April 2018. (AP)
Updated 19 July 2018
0

Russian tourist allegedly gang-raped in India

NEW DELHI: Indian police were holding six men on Thursday after a Russian tourist was allegedly drugged and gang-raped in a popular southern tourist town, officials said.
Media reports said the 21-year-old had bite marks on her face and arms when she was found naked and unconscious on the floor of her hostel room early on Monday.
“Six men have been detained over the rape and drugging of the woman,” investigating officer Mangayar Karasi said.
The woman, who was traveling on her own, had arrived in the town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu state, 190 kilometers from Chennai, last Thursday.
Those in custody included the hostel manger and her tourist guide, who told police he found her on the floor hours after they had consensual sex, another investigator said.
She said the woman was being treated in hospital for a drug overdose and minor injuries, with efforts being made to record her statement.
The medical report has confirmed sexual assault, the officer said.
Local and foreign tourists flock to Tiruvannamalai for its 9th-century Annamalaiyar Temple, one of the largest Hindu temple complexes spread over 10 hectares (25 acres).
Sexual violence is rife in India with nearly 110 rapes reported every day but activists say that figure is the tip of the iceberg as most cases go unreported.
Several foreign tourists have been sexually assaulted in India in recent months.
Last month a Japanese tourist was raped by a taxi driver in a north Indian town, followed by the rape of a 20-year-old Canadian tourist by her guest house owner in Delhi.
India’s junior interior minister Wednesday told the national parliament that 110,333 rape cases were reported in the country between 2014 and 2016.
The country’s dire record on sexual violence has been in the global spotlight since the 2012 gang-rape and murder of a woman on a New Delhi bus sparked angry protests.
The incident led to tougher sentences and reforms in the country’s rape laws but sexual crime against women, as well as against minors, remain rampant.


Oxfam told to do more to tackle sexual misconduct and abuse

Updated 6 min 56 sec ago
0

Oxfam told to do more to tackle sexual misconduct and abuse

  • Many workers said they had faced entrenched elitism, sexism and racism, while problem staff members were often not held accountable for their actions

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Bullying and elitism within global aid charity Oxfam have created “toxic” work environments and enabled sexual harassment by staff, an independent commission has found.
Many workers said they had faced entrenched elitism, sexism and racism, while problem staff members were often not held accountable for their actions, found the interim report released this week.
“There is still a lot to do in terms of building trust within the organization,” Shannon Mouillesseaux, one of the commissioners, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Oxfam said it was making changes to clamp down on misconduct and would act on the report’s recommendations.
“It is painfully clear that Oxfam is not immune from sexual and other forms of abuse that stem from the abuse of power,” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s international executive director, said in a statement.
“To those who have experienced such unacceptable behavior: we are sorry, I am sorry, and we will follow up on any cases passed to us by the Commission as a matter of urgency.”
Oxfam was embroiled in a scandal when it emerged last February that its staff used prostitutes during a relief mission in Haiti, sparking a wider scandal over sexual harassment and abuse in the charity sector.
It appointed the independent commission to review the charity’s practices and culture in response to the Haiti revelations and is also conducting its own action plan to improve its culture and safeguarding.
The commission said Oxfam was not the only charity to face issues over sexual harassment and other misconduct, but its investigation had revealed significant problems remained.
Workers described elitist behavior and bullying in many offices, while “drastic inconsistencies” in handling safeguarding issues meant complaints were not always properly acted on, it said.
Former victims and whistleblowers said they had faced a lack of accountability when raising complaints, with some saying they had been effectively pushed out of the organization.
The commission said work was needed to build trust with staff and recommended changes including action to create a single unified safeguarding system and to diversify the charity’s leadership.
Sexual misconduct claims at Oxfam have sharply risen since the Haiti scandal, reaching 155 in the 2017-18 financial year compared to 87 in the year previously. (Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)