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Archive for April 18th, 2007

Norway: Two held by police on Somalian born Kadra assault

Posted by African Press International on April 18, 2007

Police arrested two young men early Monday afternoon and charged them with assaulting Norwegian-Somalian activist Kadra in downtown Oslo last week. Kadra herself had spotted her attackers on an Oslo street and called police.

Kadra has apparently upset some Muslims by speaking out in favour of women’s rights.

PHOTO: Erlend Aas / SCANPIX

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A witness told Aftenposten.no that Kadra, as she’s known, was seen downtown around mid-day on Monday in the company of another woman. She was seen making a call, presumably to police, who arrived shortly and arrested two persons in the area.

The two, both men in their 20s, were seized near the El Dorado Cinema on Torggata in downtown Oslo about 1pm, police confirmed to Aftenposten.no.

The two suspects were allegedly part of a Somalian gang that attacked Kadra in downtown Oslo last week. Police have already said they have photos of the attackers from security cameras located where the attack occurred.

The young Norwegian-Somalian woman sparked the ire of some Muslims several years ago by taking part in a TV documentary that exposed Muslim leaders encouraging young woman to submit to female circumcision.

The bold documentary also made Kadra well-known in Norway, and led to new legislation that forbids the practice.

Kadra was back in the news recently when she told Norwegian newspaper VG that the Koran’s views on women needed to be reinterpreted.

She said her attackers, who kicked her and broke some of her ribs last week, screamed that she had “trampled on the Koran.”

The Islamic Council of Norway condemned the attack on Kadra and urged her to pursue the case with police.

Lifted and published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no. source.AftenpostenEng

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Norway: Prostitutes becomes as headache for the Norwegians

Posted by African Press International on April 18, 2007

Prostitutes have become more brazen than ever in Norway’s capital, with many aggressively peddling their wares on Oslo’s main streets and around key tourist attractions. Politicians are quarreling over whether to finally make the trade illegal.

One prostitute was noisily trying to sell her services inside this store on Karl Johans Gate, just behind the Norwegian Parliament Building.

PHOTO: MORTEN ANDERSEN


Many of the prostitutes on Oslo’s streets are from overseas, and they’re also active in the area just behind the historic Akershus Fortress.

PHOTO: Bjørke Magnus Knutsen


Tor Sannerud of the Oslo visitors’ bureau is among those calling for a crackdown on street prostitution in Oslo.

PHOTO: TOM A KOLSTAD

Prostitution currently remains legal in Norway, but sellers of sexual services traditionally have stuck to specific areas of downtown and let customers approach them.

A recent influx of prostitutes from eastern Europe, Nigeria and South America has changed all that, and now prostitutes are openly going after potential customers, most notably on Karl Johans Gate, Oslo’s main boulevard through the heart of town.

Aftenposten.no reported on Tuesday that some also have been aggressively selling their services inside local stores, including the 7-Eleven convenience store on Karl Johans Gate at the square called Egertorget.

Officials at 7-Eleven pressed charges, and one prostitute was recently convicted of disturbing the peace after she allegedly yelled at the store’s lone employee and made threats after being told to leave.

Visitors to Oslo have also been complaining about the aggressive prostitution on downtown streets, and the head of the city’s visitors’ bureau is among those calling for a crackdown.

Both the Socialist Left and Center parties, which make up part of Norway’s center-left government coalition, now want such solicitation to be illegal. Polticians from their dominant government partner, the Labour Party, are expected to debate the issue at their annual convention later this week.

Politicians disagree over whether the solicitation or the purchase of sexual services should be made illegal. One proposal calls for making the purchase of sexual services a criminal offense. That would hit the person buying a prostitute’s services, not the prostitute.

Oslo’s city council, meanwhile, has approved a measure prohibiting “aggressive prostitution” (pågående prostitusjon). Store owners and irritated targets of the prostitutes expect the measure to be enforced.

 

By Nina Berglund

Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no source. aftenposteneng

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University Massacre in the US

Posted by African Press International on April 18, 2007

A Norwegian professor working at the university that was struck by the biggest massacre in US history was among those asked to identify the dead gunman, who killed 32 persons before shooting himself as well.

The massacre at Virginia Tech University left many in shock.

PHOTO: KIM RAFF/AP


Jan Helge Bøhn, a Norwegian professor at Virginia Tech, was among those asked to help identify the body of the gunman.

PHOTO: VIRGINIA TECH


Students had a hard time coming to grips with the massacre at Virginia Tech.

PHOTO: SAM DEAN / AP PHOTO

Jan Helge Bøhn told Aftenposten.no on Tuesday that he was asked by police to view the body of the gunman, to see whether he could identify him as one of his own students.

“Fortunately he wasn’t, but just the same, he was so young and had the most innocent face you could imagine,” Bøhn wrote in an e-mail to Aftenposten.no early Tuesday.

“How could he have been so full of such madness?”

That was a question asked by many after the young gunman, a South Korean exchange student whose motive remained unclear, started shooting students in a dormitory at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia. He then moved over to a classroom building, Norris Hall, and shot dozens more before turning one of his weapons on himself.

“Now we’re beginning to find out who among our friends didn’t survive,” wrote Bøhn, director of the Virgirnia Tech Computer Aided Design Laboratory.

“One of my friends was killed by a shot to the head, and only four students in his class are now alive,” Bøhn wrote. “It’s a tragedy.”

Bøhn said hundreds of police arrived at the scene, and they didn’t hesitate to shoot through doors believed to have been locked from the inside by the gunman, so that those trapped inside could escape.

Another Norwegian who works as a programmer for the university’s continuing education division said he could see people running for cover from the window of his office.

Oddbjørn Hestnes arrived at his office next door to Norris Hall at about 9am local time, after the first round of shootings had taken place at a university dormitory.

Hadn’t heard any shots
“There was a short e-mail to all employees that there had been a shooting incident at the dorm,” Hestnes told Aftenposten.no. He said he then started working as normal, but within an hour, more tragic events started unfolding outside the window of his office.

Hestnes called his secretary, who worked on the floor above him, when he saw people running by his window. Then local and state police cars and ambulances started arriving en masse.

“It was scary, and I didn’t have a radio or TV in my office,” said Hestnes, who hadn’t heard any shots and wasn’t aware that the massacre was occurring in the building next door.

He instinctively stayed away from the windows. It wasn’t until around noon that an evacuation order came from university officials, and police told everyone to go home.

“No one knew about the scope of the shootings, it was total confusion,” Hestnes said.

By Nina Berglund

Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no

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