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 Kurdish Womens Action Against Honour Killings (KWAHK)


 KWRW condemns the stoning of teenage Yezidi girl in Kurdistan
Du'a Khalil)

KWRW NEWS:

Roundup of media reports on honour-based violence and violent incidents involving women in Iraqi Kurdistan Region, May-December 2008 - 22/08/2009

New Project Investigating Honour-Based Violence - 08/09/2008

Job opportunity at KWRW - 08/09/2008

Reports of honour-based murders and suspected murders, April 2008 - 13/06/2008

Roundup of reports on honour-based murders and attempted or suspected murders, March 08 - 12/06/2008

Roundup of reports on honour-based violence and violent incidents involving women in Kurdistan Region, February 2008 - 26/05/2008

Roundup of reports on honour-based violence and violent incidents involving women in Kurdistan Region, December 2007 -January 2008 - 26/05/2008

Roundup of reports on honour-based violence and violent incidents involving women in Kurdistan Region, September/ October 2007 - 26/05/2008

 


Updates on current cases in Iraqi Kurdistan Region
12/06/2007   KWRW
Members of KWRW are currently in Kurdistan and are active in trying to bring the murderers in the recent killings to justice. Here is the latest news we have in relation to these cases.

Do’a Khalil

According to the local police in Ba’siqa village, where Do’a was stoned to death, ten people have been arrested. The police officers who looked on and did nothing as she died have not been arrested, on the pretext that the mob was too big and the two police officers were ‘helpless’.

Following the stoning of Do’a, members of the Women’s Rights Commission at the Kurdistan National Assembly have held talks with Iraqi women’s rights groups and commissions in Baghdad to set up a mechanism for cooperation on combating violence against women. Also, the Kurdistan Alliance has sent a delegation to Ba’siqa and called on the Iraqi government to carry out an inquiry into the case.

A number of meetings and protests have taken place over the last six weeks. More than fifty women’s organisations from all over Kurdistan took part in a protest action in front of Kurdistan’s Parliament in Arbil at the end of April, and there were further forums on 9th May, one month after this horrible death, to commemorate Do’a, to pay tribute to her and to show support for all women and girls exposed to honour related violence in Kurdistan and in the world. Meetings were held in European cities as well. Members of KWRW were involved in meetings, press interviews etc. in Kurdistan, London and in Stockholm.

Shawbo Ali
Members of KWRW have met with Shawbo’s family, and have been supporting her father in his efforts to have her killers brought to justice. It appears that two of the killers are now in Birmingham and the Metropolitan Police have been informed of their identities. They are said to be waiting for concrete evidence to be delivered through Interpol. The Global Justice Centre (a human rights NGO with which KWRW is currently in discussions about shared projects) is trying to contact a lawyer to take care of the dossier.

KWRW’s representative in the Kurdistan Region, Nazand Begikhani, has held a meeting with the UK Deputy Consul in Arbil about this. We have also met with the Minister of the Interior. According to Kurdistani Niwé (8th June), the Minister of the Interior has written to the British Council in Kurdistan to demand that the British authorities hand over the two suspected murderers to the authorities in Kurdistan. An arrest warrant has been issued against the elder brother of Shawbo’s husband, who participated in the plot, and we have been informed that he was arrested on June 5th. Besides Shawbo’s husband and brother-in-law, her father accuses ten others who apparently left Arbil for Raniya town, where the family has military power, to get protection. Some people are said to be under the protection of an Agha, a tribal leader. We are following up these people and will continue to pursue the case.

Amina Fakhir Kroy
According to the weekly Jamawar newspaper (28 May), Amina, a child of 12, was shot by her father in Arbil on May 5th. He accused her – at twelve years old – of having had a “sexual relationship” with a man of 24. It is a terrible mark of how the idea of “honour” distorts human relationships that the father should become the murderer rather than the protector of his young daughter. According to the media reports, the shooting took place in the centre of town - with a painful irony, just opposite the Ministry for Human Rights. The Ministry, however, informed the newspaper that it had no information on the case. Following media reports on Amina’s murder, KWRW has contacted the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of the Region for Interior Affairs, calling for an investigation into the case. We have been told that the alleged killer, her father, has left Arbil to seek political protection in Koysinjaq town. Following our intervention, an arrest warrant was issued against the father. On June 9th, two of his brothers were arrested in Arbil and police forces in Koysinjaq and Arbil are cooperating to bring the father to trial. Most recently, on June 11th, KWRW held a meeting with the Minister of the Region for Interior Affairs. We were told that there was no evidence that the daughter had been killed and the whole case was under investigation. We are seeking further information.


Protection scheme
According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Human Rights, quoted in the Hawler Post on June 3rd, incidents of violence against women in Iraqi Kurdistan in March and April increased by 18%. Following public pressure, and on the initiative of reformist officials inside both the parties and the government, the KRG has initiated a protection scheme for women, to be led by the Ministry of the Interior. Further updates on this to follow. KWRW has been invited to cooperate with the interior ministry to set up an effective system aimed at protecting women and to root out violence against women. Part of this scheme involves raising awareness among the police. We have discussed possible strategies in meetings with interior minister. KWRW’s representative in Kurdistan Region is to give a public lecture on honour-based violence and honour killing at the Police Academy on June 14th.

We call once again on the Kurdistan Regional Government to take action against these repeated crimes, to ensure that they are investigated and the perpetrators punished, and to publicly condemn all those who kill on the pretext of honour.

Kurdish Women’s Rights Watch (KWRW)
June 2007



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