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‘Honour’ crimes on the rise

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed for the first time the scale of ‘honour’ crimes in the UK, The Guardian and The Sunday Mirror report.

Data obtained by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) from 39 police forces revealed that 2,823 incidents involving threats, abduction, acid attacks, beatings, force marriage, mutilation and murder were recorded in 2010.

The IKWRO estimates 500 more crimes could have been committed in a further 13 force areas that failed to provide data.

The disclosed figures show an alarming rise in all those different forms of abuse. Between 2009 and 2010, the incidents in London rose from 938 to 1,381 and in Greater Manchester from 105 to 189.

The Sunday Mirror reveals a total of 2,823 attacks were reported last year with the victims being mostly women in South Asian, Eastern European and Middle Eastern communities.

The abuse most often begins when the victims are accused of bringing shame on their families for having boyfriends, refusing arranged marriages, coming out as gay or wearing revealing clothes.

In 2006, Iraqi Kurd Banaz Mahmod, 20, from South London was strangled on her father and uncle’s orders because they disapproved of the boyfriend she found after leaving her violent husband.

Five-year olds taken into care due to obesity

A Freedom of Information investigation into children being taken into care with obesity cited as a contributing factor has revealed kids as young as five are taken from their parents. The Daily Mail reports social workers decide to put a child into care when its parents can’t get their youngster’s weight under control.

Irish bodies refuse to comply with Environmental Information Regulations

The Sunday Times reports the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and the former Anglo Irish Bank (now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) have resorted to the High Court in order to stop the release of records under the Environmental Information Regulations. The two Irish bodies are opposing the ruling by Emily O’ Reilly, the Commissioner for Environmental Information, who says they should be considered “public authorities” and their legal action could cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of euros.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s Phd under scrutiny

An investigation into the decision of the LSE to award Saif al-Islam Gaddafi a Phd has concluded that the awarding of the doctorate was in order, but Tory MP Robert Halfon has submitted an FoIA request to gain access to the full report. The Independent reports Mr Halfon, whose grandfather was driven out of Libya, has filed the request on the basis that the Phd “is not a matter of procedure, it’s an ethical issue”.

Creches taken to court for failing to comply with basic guidelines

One crèche a month is prosecuted by the Health Service Executive for failing to meet minimum guidelines on issues such as staffing, hygiene and garda vetting. The Sunday Times reported FoIA requests showed that in some pres-schools children have nowhere to sit, no organised play and there were evidence that children were wandering around “aimlessly”.

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