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September 03, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-03

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8A -- Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Series of gang rape cases cause
fury, show signs of change in India

Germany tries elderly
man for Nazi war crimes

Recent trend led to
public outbursts
of anger
NEW DELHI (AP) - A series
of recent high-profile gang rape
cases inIndia has ignited a debate:
Are such crimes on the rise, or is
it simply that more attention is
being paid to a problem long hid-
den within families and villages?
The answer, experts say, is both.
Modernization is fueling a cri-
sis of sexual assault in India, with
increasingly independent women
now working in factories and
offices and stepping beyond the
subservient roles to which they
had traditionally been relegated.
They are also more likely than
their mothers and grandmothers
were to report rapes, and more
likely to encounter male strang-
ersin public.
"We never used to see so many
cases of gang rape, and so many
involving groups of young, unem-
ployed men," said Supreme Court

lawyer Kirti Singh, who special-
izes in women's issues.
While there are no reliable sta-
tistics on gang rapes, experts say
the trend, along with the grow-
ing sense of insecurity it has
brought for women, led to recent
outbursts of public anger over the
long-ignored epidemic of violence
against women.
The silence broke in Decem-
ber, when a New Delhi student
was gang-raped on a bus in a
particularly vicious attack from
which she died two weeks later.
A juvenile court on Saturday
handed down the first conviction
in the case, sending a teenager to
a reform home for three years for
rape and murder.
The sentence, the maximum
a juvenile can face, was widely
denounced as too lenient, and the
girl's parents vowed to appeal.
The other suspects in the case are
being tried as adults and could
face execution if convicted.
While attacks on women occur
constantly across India, often
within the home, the brutal-

ity and public nature of the New
Delhi case left many shocked and
shamed. Thousands took to the
streets in the capital to express
their outrage.
The government, pledging to
crack down, created fast-track
courts for rape cases, doubled
prison terms for rape and crimi-
nalized voyeurism, stalking,
acid attacks and the trafficking
of women.
The - Tourism Ministry
launched a nationwide "I
Respect Women" campaign
after a Swiss bicyclist was gang-
raped in March in central India
and an American woman was
gang-raped two months later
in the northern resort town of
Manali.
Yet another high-profile gang
rape last month, against a pho-
tojournalist on assignment in
Mumbai, renewed public fury
and sent the media into 24-7
coverage marked by daily front
page-headlines and talk shows
debating how to make India safe
for women.

92-year-old charged
with murder of
Dutchman
HAGEN, Germany (AP) --
Germany put a 92-year-old for-
mer member of the Nazi Waffen
SS on trial Monday on charges
that he killed a Dutch resistance
fighter in 1944.
Dutch-born Siert Bruins, who
is now German, entered the
Hagen state courtroom using a
walker, but appeared alert and
attentive as the proceedings
-opened.
No pleas are made in the Ger-
man system, and Bruins offered
no statement. His attorneyKlaus-
Peter Kniffka, said afterthe short
35-minute opening session that it
was unlikelyhis clientwould ever
address the court personally.
"I will probably deliver a
defense declaration, but it
depends upon the course of the

trial," he told reporters.
The trial comes amid a new
phase of German Nazi-era inves-
tigations, with federal pros-
ecutors this week expected
to announce they are recom-
mending the pursuit of possible
charges against about 40 former
Auschwitz guards.
The renewed probes of death
camp guards come after the case
of former Ohio autoworker John
Demjanjuk, who died last year
while appealing his 2011 convic-
tion for accessory to murder after
allegations he served in Sobibor.
His case established that death
camp guards could be convicted
as accessories to murder, even if
there was no specific evidence of
atrocities againstthem.
Bruins, however, had long
been on the radar of German
legal authorities and already
served time in the 1980s for his
role in the wartime slaying of
two Dutch Jews.
Bruins was also already con-

victed and sentenced to death in
absentia in the Netherlands in
1949 in a case that involved the
killing of the resistance'fighter.
The sentence was later commut-
ed to life in prison, but attempts
to extradite him were unsuccess-
ful because he had obtained Ger-
man citizenship through a policy
instituted by Adolf Hitler to con-
fer citizenship on foreigners who
served the Nazi military.
Ulrich Sander, spokesman for
an organization representing the
victims of Nazi crimes, told the
dpa news agency that the deci-
sion to bring Bruins to trial again,
even at his advanced age, was a
good one.
"We must make it clear for
the future that such crimes are
always prosecuted, that murder-
ers never get away," he said.
Despite his age, Bruins was
found medically fit to stand trial,
though Kniffka said the stress of
the proceedings against him has
weakened him.

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