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 Iraqi Kurdistan: Physical assault against women on rise in Sulaimaniyah

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Iraqi Kurdistan: Physical assault against women on rise in Sulaimaniyah  26.11.2011  

November 26, 2011

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — According to a report by the Directorate of Investigation of Violence Against Women in Sulaimaniyah, 1409 men have been arrested in relation to violence against women in the past three years.

The directorate report said that such cases are on the rise.

This report shows that besides detaining a large number of men for interrogation, there are more than 1,000 men wanted for assaults and acts of violence against women who have not been arrested yet.

Sarkawt Omer, head of the directorate of investigation told Rudaw,           
“A small group of culprits are on the run from justice, while many others have their cases settled and it was not necessary to arrest them,”

The report says that in the past three years 20 women and girls have been victims of kidnapping in Kurdistan.

According to the report a copy of which was sent to Rudaw, there crimes against women vary.

There have been 20 recorded homicide cases involving women victims. Five women were murdered in 2008 alone and only one murderer was arrested.

In 2009, five women were murdered and four of the perpetrators were arrested. In 2010, there have been 10 homicide cases and only three of the male perpetrators have been arrested so far.

The report says that in the same three yeas, there have been 17 failed attempts at murder of women.

Kajal Muhammad, an attorney in the Criminal Court of Sulaimaniyah told Rudaw that cases of violence against women are filed at the court everyday.

“We have witnessed a rise in cases that involve women,” she said. “Everyday a few cases are brought to court.”

Muhammad added, “There are arrest warrants against all of them (perpetrators), but some of them have not been arrested yet because they are either hiding or have left the country,”

Cases of physical assault on women or “beating” are dominant in the report. In the three years covered by the report, more than 1200 cases of physical assault against women were recorded in Sulaimaniyah province alone.

According to the data, cases of “beating women” have increased from 381 cases in 2008 to 460 in 2010.

A 34-year-old married woman who asked to be identified by her initials as N. T said that she once called the police on her husband after she was beaten.

“He beat me during a verbal fight, and the police summoned him after I complained against him,” she said. “He (husband) then asked me to withdraw my complaint at the police station and promised me not to do that again. Now there are no problems between us and we are back to our normal lives,”

Omer told Rudaw that his directorate works with the security forces to detain those with arrest warrants against them.

“Some of the assailants have not been captured by the police yet because not all the cases require detention,” Omer said. “Some of the cases get settled and some of the detainees are released after interrogation,”

Kurdo Omer, general-director of Combating Violence Against Women at the Ministry of Interior, told Rudaw that their powers to arrest homicide culprits have increased in recent years, mainly because political parties do not protect the killers anymore.

“Now the police can function better,” he said. “I am very optimistic about capturing all the murderers. Many of them have already been arrested. They rarely can escape from justice,”

Abdulkhaliq Talaat, Erbil Police Chief said that in %95 of those indicted for killing women get arrested.

“Those who have not been captured yet have fled Iraqi Kurdistan to unknown places, but those who are still here will be eventually captured no matter how long it may take,” Talaat said.

By Nawzad Mahmoud


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