Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
6 December 2009

Press conference on sexual terror in Zimbabwe

Media Alert

You are invited to a press conference on the launch of a report by the advocacy organization AIDS-Free World on Thursday, 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

“Electing to Rape:  Sexual Terror in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe”:

n  is based on sworn affidavits from women raped by ruling party militias before, during and after Zimbabwe’s 2008 presidential elections;

n  reveals a conclusive pattern of orchestrated sexual violence and torture;

n  describes the targeting of women associated with the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, and

n  leaves no question that Robert Mugabe’s administration has committed crimes against humanity.

Four expert speakers will describe the report’s contents, including details and analysis of the testimony provided by survivors, and possible legal strategies for overcoming Zimbabwe’s culture of impunity.

Stephen Lewis, Co-Director, AIDS-Free World (and former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa);

Beatrice Mtetwa, human rights lawyer and President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe;

Elinor Sisulu, award-winning author, political analyst and human rights activist;

Betsy Apple, Legal Director and General Counsel, AIDS-Free World.

Moderator:  Shonali Shome, Legal and Gender Advisor, AIDS-Free World

Press Conference Details:

Date: Thursday, 10 December 2009

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Venue: The Gordon Institute of Business Science

Street address: 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Johannesburg

Media interviews can be arranged at the close of the press conference.

Please RSVP to FD South Africa by Tuesday, 8 December 2009.

Sandra Sampayo     sandra.sampayo@fd.com 021 487 9000 / 079 167 6863

Dani Cohen              dani.cohen@fd.com 021 487 9000 / 082 897 0443

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