Relevant & Timely News
Jan 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm
Ex-Child Soldier Jailed for Desertion, Democratic Voice of Burma, January 19, 2011. Zin Maung, a former child soldier who voluntarily enlisted in the Burmese (Myanmar) army at age 13 and later escaped, was arrested and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. Muang is now in his mid-20s. Burma's army is reportedly one of the world's largest standing armies relative to population, and the use of child soldiers is common. Although only adults over age 18 can be involuntarily enlisted, anyone over the age of 15 is permitted by law to volunteer (per recent legislation). The full article is available here.
Myanmar Rights Report Says Minority Group Killed, Raped, AFP, January 19, 2011. Physicians for Human Rights, an international rights group, issued a report on the abuses committed by the Myanmar junta after conducting a survey of hundreds of families in Chin State, Myanmar. According to the report, crimes committed in Chin State "include murder, rape, torture, group persecution and other inhumane acts." Furthermore, the report provided that nearly 20 percent of torture victims and nearly one-third of rape victims were younger than 15, and that children as young as 11 had been forcibly recruited to become child soldiers in the Myanmar army. The full article is available here.
Baby Martyrdom Culture Among Shiites in Iran and Lebanon, MEMRI, January 10, 2011. Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV aired reports on Ashuraa ceremonies in Iran and Lebanon, showing "[t]ens of thousands of mothers in the Islamic Republic of Iran mark[ing] what is known as 'the Day of the Infant Abdallah,' after the youngest martyr of Karbala." The ceremonies took place in more than 1,000 Iranian towns and reenacted the killing of Abdallah while in the hands of his father, Imam Hussein. One mother stated that she had come to "commemorate [Imam Hussein and Abdallah]," while another said, "We will complete the path of jihad. We hope that our children will continue along the path of Imam Hussein." The full article and MEMRI TV clip are available here.
VIDEO: Hezbollah Theme Park Opens, NBC News (YouTube). In Lebanon, Hezbollah has designed and built a theme park, "The Landmark for the Resistance," dedicated to military victories against Israel. The park, "built on hatred of Israel and on decades of war," presents its visitors with life-sized statues of guerilla fighters, as well as Israeli tanks and guns amidst rubble. This park is a unique development in the ongoing attempt at glorifying violence and targeting children with messages of hate disguised as wholesome family fun. The video is available here.