Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Modern Witch Hunting / Mayhem in Ireland

1,000 Seized in Gambian Witch Hunt; Mayhem in Ireland (AP)

DAKAR, Senegal – Authorities in Gambia have rounded up about 1,000 people and forced them to drink hallucinogens in a witch-hunting campaign that is terrorizing the tiny West African nation, an international rights group said Wednesday.

Amnesty International called on the government of President Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup and has claimed he can cure AIDS, to halt the campaign and bring those responsible to justice....

Authorities began inviting "witch doctors," who combat witches, to come from nearby Guinea soon after the death earlier this year of the president's aunt. Jammeh "reportedly believes that witchcraft was used in her death," the London-based rights group said.

Since then, "witch doctors" — accompanied by police, soldiers, intelligence agents, and Jammeh's personal guards — have forcibly taken about 1,000 alleged witches from their villages and spirited them to secret locations, Amnesty said. About 300 of them were taken to Jammeh's personal farm in his native Kanilai, east of the capital, the group said. More>>

Drunken Worshippers Venerate Saint with Alcohol

DUBLIN, Ireland – Cars were torched, firefighters attacked, and police bombarded in mayhem spawned by dusk-to-dawn drinking on St. Patrick's Day, Irish authorities said today.

Authorities were still assessing the damage from inebriated revelers who turned some districts of Dublin and Belfast into nightmares.

Police in the Republic of Ireland, a predominantly white island off the coast of England, said they were counting the number of public-order arrests from Tuesday's festivities, and the total would easily exceed 200, typical for recent years.

Police in Northern Ireland clashed with some of the British territory's most privileged youth — hundreds of students at Queen's University, the major college in Belfast — in what authorities called the worst public drinking-related confrontation of any recent St. Patrick's Day. More>>

PHOTOS: 1. Two unidentified women fight near Grand Central Station after the St. Patrick's Day Parade 3/17/09 in New York. No one was arrested (AP/Frank Franklin II); 2. Gambian Witch Doctor; 3. Students confront police officers in riot gear near Ormeau Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 3/17/09. Several hundred students living beside Queen's University engaged in drunken street scuffles with police, who donned riot gear to protect themselves from barrages of beer bottles and other alcoholic drink containers. The trouble — in a tree-lined district of student-rented housing — has been a perennial problem on St. Patrick's Day. But these clashes involved far greater numbers of students and a greater level of destruction than in previous years (AP/Peter Morrison); 4. A presumably sober reveler: Cardinal Edward Egan, center, reacts as the Sisters of Charity make their way past St. Patrick's Cathedral on their way up New York's Fifth Avenue during the St. Patrick's Day parade, 3/17/09 (AP/Tina Fineberg).

No comments: