Putin says will sign anti-adoption bill

1 / 2
2 / 2
Updated 27 December 2012
0

Putin says will sign anti-adoption bill

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday he would sign a controversial bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children, a defiant move against the US that has angered some Russians who argue it victimizes children to make a political point.
The law would block dozens of Russian children expected to be adopted by American families from leaving the country and cut off one of the main international routes for Russian children to leave often dismal orphanages. Russia is the single biggest source of adopted children in the US, with more than 60,000 Russian children being taken in by Americans over the past two decades.
The bill is in retaliation for an American law that calls for sanctions against Russians deemed to be human rights violators and part of an increasingly confrontational stance by the Kremlin against the West.
Putin said US authorities routinely let Americans suspected of violence toward Russian adoptees go unpunished — a clear reference to Dima Yakovlev, a Russian toddler for whom the bill is named. The child was adopted by Americans and then died in 2008 after his father left him in a car in broiling heat for hours. The father was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Putin indicated that he would endorse the measure.
“I still don’t see any reasons why I should not sign it,” he told a televised meeting. He went on to say that he “intends” to sign it.
UNICEF estimates that there are about 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia, while only 18,000 Russians are now waiting to adopt a child.
The US State Department says it regrets the Russian Parliament’s decision to pass the bill, saying it would prevent many children from growing up in families
Critics of the bill have left dozens of stuffed toys and candles outside the parliament’s lower and upper houses to express solidarity with Russian orphans.
Children rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov on Wednesday said that 46 children who were about to be adopted in the United States would remain in Russia in case the bill comes into effect. Yesterday, he petitioned the president to extend the ban to other countries.
“There is huge money and questionable people involved in the semi-legal schemes of exporting children,” he tweeted.


Indonesian university wages war on Daesh — with animations

Updated 20 April 2018
0

Indonesian university wages war on Daesh — with animations

  • Films tapped to counter radical propaganda after earlier efforts to publish two short comics largely failed because of the poor reading habits of Indonesian teenagers
  • 20-year-old Syrian war veteran says she regrets falling victim to Daesh online propaganda

JAKARTA: Ahmad met his friends Udin and Ari at a mosque, and Ari asked him why he had not been around for some time. 

When Ahmad said he had just returned from Syria, Ari replied in awe that he, too, wanted to go there to wage "jihad".

When a teacher approached them and asked Ahmad the same question, Ari replied, saying: “He (Ahmad) just returned from Syria to wage jihad. Isn’t that cool?” But Ahmad told both men the caliphate propaganda was false and many innocent people had been killed in the name of the caliphate.

“They were Muslims just like us,” he said. The teacher closed the conversation by saying that Ari had learned his lesson and should understand he did not have to go far to wage jihad. The teacher then asked Ari to join him assisting elderly people.

“This is also jihad,” he said.

Ahmad, Udin and Ari are characters in an animated film entitled “Kembali dari Syria,” or “Returning from Syria,” produced by the Center for the Study of Islam and Social Transformation (Cisform) at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Yogyakarta. The short film — one of 20 animated clips produced to counter extremism among teenagers — was launched in Jakarta on Wednesday, following the February release of the other productions in Yogyakarta.

Mohammed Wildan, Cisform’s director, told Arab News the films had been made to counter radical propaganda after earlier efforts to publish two short comics largely failed because of the poor reading habits of Indonesian teenagers.

“We decided to develop these animated short clips to expand our reach. They will be more accessible through social media,” Wildan said.

Most of the clips are between 90 seconds and three minutes long, depending on the content.

Wildan said the real challenge was to condense the message with the correct reference to Qur’an and package it in a maximum three-minute clip.

“We are careful when choosing our arguments that cite the Qur’an and the Hadith,” Wildan said.

Lecturers from the university had offered their expertise on specific subjects, he said.

Also present at the film launch was 20-year-old Nur Shadrina Khairadhania, who went to Syria as a teenager with her extended family. She shared her own account of emigrating to the so-called caliphate and explained why going to Syria to wage jihad was wrong.

Speaking to an audience of high school students, Khairadhania said that after her interest in Islam began to grow, she fell victim to Daesh online propaganda introduced to her by an uncle.

“I watched their videos, which showed that life would be really good in the caliphate. I was enticed to join,” Khairadhania said.

She convinced her father, Dwi Djoko Wiwoho, a high-ranking civil servant in Batam, Riau province, as well as her mother and two siblings, to migrate to Syria.

A group of 26 extended members of her family, including two uncles and a grandmother, left for Syria in 2015. After 19 managed to cross the border with Turkey, they quickly discovered that life in the caliphate was very different to the propaganda.

“Everything is contrary to Islamic teaching. A male family member was forced to fight and was put in detention for months when he refused,” she said. 

The family tried for a year to leave and finally returned to Indonesia in August 2017. 

Family members completed a rehabilitation program run by the national counterterrorism agency, but now her father and uncle are facing terrorism charges. 

Rebuilding her life had been difficult because of the stigma of her past, she said.

“But God gave me a second chance to live. This is probably my jihad, to tell the truth to people so no one will be deceived like us,” she said.