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 Rape and killing of 15 year old Nigar Rahim in Iraq's Kurdistan

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Rape and killing of 15 year old Nigar Rahim in Iraq's Kurdistan  18.8.2012 
Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq

Nigar Rahim was only 15 when she was killed by her brother on the 20th of July in Garmian in Kurdistan-Iraq. Nigar had been raped and impregnated by one of her brothers. See Related Links
An appeal to women organisations and human rights activists worldwide to condemn the Kurdistan Regional Government and seek justice for Nigar Rahim.

August 18
, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq',— Raped by one brother, killed by another brother to wash the shame brought upon family “honour”.

Nigar Rahim was only 15 when she was killed by her brother on the 20th of July in Garmian in Kurdistan-Iraq. Nigar had been raped and impregnated by one of her brothers. She was protected along with her child by the Directorate to Investigate Violence against Women for six months after giving birth. Nigar and her brother were arrested at the beginning of this year; the brother was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment while Nigar was released on bail according to the police in Garmian where the case was dealt with. She was then under the protection of the Directorate.

After six months, another brother of Nigar entered a negotiation with the police and signed a document promising not to harm her. The police handed her over to the family on the 12th of June, but she was killed by that other brother on the 20th of July.

The rape and murder of a young girl in this manner shows a lack of responsibility on the part of state institutions who are only promoting such crimes by not providing long-term, intense protection and care in cases like Nigar’s. The situation of a 15 year old girl being raped by her own brother, traumatised, shocked, and giving birth to a child from her own brother in a highly patriarchal and socially conservative society is very complex. Victims of rape are considered guilty and therefore deserving of death to clear the shame brought upon the family’s so-called honour.

In Kurdistan where, on a daily basis, women are killed, degraded, or forced to commit suicide through self-immolation, even young girls’ lives are not safe. For the last 20 years the Kurdistan Regional Government have turned a blind eye to the plight of women, to the point where the situation is now almost out of control. Despite the anger and protest by activists and organisations opposed to this situation, the killing and violence against women continue.

It is time for the government and its institutions to take the necessary steps to uproot these misogynist, patriarchal, and tribal practices that has turned the country into a hell and a prison for women.

We the undersigned therefore demand:

1- The head of the Directorate and the persons who were involved in handing Nigar over to her family must be investigated.
2- Stop handing over women and girls whose lives are in risk merely through signing a document with no legal consequences, as this gives families a free hand to kill female members.
3- A clear and transparent investigation must be made into this case, with the results to be made public.
4- Declare rape to be a crime and abolish all punishment for the victim.
5- Provide protection, medical care, and social help to victims of rape so that they will be able to rebuild their lives.

The undersigned of this appeal are:

Houzan Mahmoud: Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq-UK Ophelia Benson, blogger and columnist. Najiba Mahmud: Women’s rights activist-Sweden Edith Rubinstein: retired, Woman in Black. Jim Catterson: Regional Contact person MENA Region Industrial Global Union Choman Hardi: Writer and academic researcher Mariwan Kanie: Assistant professor of Arab and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Amsterdam-Netherlands Bahar Monzir: Women’s rights activist-Kurdistan London Feminist Network- UK MADRE: International women’s human rights organization-U.S.A Thomas Schmidinger: Political Scientist- Austria Fuad Qaradaghy: Writer-Kurdistan Mary Kreutzer: (Leeza, Association for Emancipatory Development Cooperation; and University of Applied Sciences Dornbirn)-Austria Nicola Stott: Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York-UK Lesley Abdela: Shevolution-UK Bill Weinberg, author and independent journalist, New York Chilura Hardi: Women’s rights activist-Kurdistan Deanne Rauscher: Journalist researcher (member of The Swedish Journalist Association)-Sweden Valeria Dessì: Research Student, SOAS-University of London-UK Göran Gustavsson: Member of the representative assembly Municipal Workers Union Stockholm- Sweden. Noori Bashir: Writer-UK Avin Fatah: Social researcher and women’s rights activist in Hawler-Kurdistan Maryam Namazie: Spokesperson, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All, UK Maria Fantappie: Researcher and Writer-Italy Lisa-Marie Taylor: Feminism in London 2013 Project Manager-UK Gjuner Nebiu: Women’s Civic Initiatives Antico, Republic of Macedonia Sawsan Zakzak: Researcher- Syria Lilian Halls-French: European Feminist Initiative IFE-EFI-France Muslih Irwani: Lecturer and Researcher-UK Diana Ferrus: Writer, and Poet from the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town- South Africa Lawzha Jawad: Women’s rights activist- Denmark Stara Arif: Journalist, and civil society activist-Kurdistan Parwa Ali: Journalist-Kurdistan Shwan Mohammed: Journalist-Kurdistan Arian Omed Arif: Red Honour group-Norway Christian Ronse, University Professor of Computer Science (France) Nask Hussein: Poet-Canada Aso Jabar: Writer-USA Tara Twana: Member of Social Democratic Party & Stockholm municipality-Sweden Halala Rafie: Nina Centre-Sweden Sarkaw Hadi: Theatrical actor and writer Nahid Mokri: Women’s rights activist and writer-Sweden Glyn Harries: Hackney Trades Union Council-UK Gona Saed: Women’s rights activist-UK Nyaz Abdullah: journalist and women’s rights activist-Kurdistan Saira Zuberi: Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) Sophie Boiszeau: Initiative-Communiste-Ouvrière-France Stéphane Julien: Teacher, Solidarité Irak-France Liam McNulty: Alliance for Workers’ Liberty-UK Jani Diylan: Journalist-USA Rebecca Hybbinette: PHD in political philosophy -Sweden Shahla Nouri: Director of Women’s Liberation-Sweden Joana Vicente Baginha: Member of Portuguese feminist organisation UMAR-UK Floyd Codlin: PCS Trade Union Chair at the British Library-UK Esther Townsend: Workers’ Liberty, Women’s Fightback & NCAFC Women’s Committee (PC)-UK Twana Taha: Journalist-Soran-Kurdistan Kawan Kadir: Artist-Canada San Saravan: Documentary film maker-Kurdistan Hawzhin Gharib: Journalist-Kurdistan Halwest Abdulah Karim: Civil society activist-Kurdistan Salah Raouf: Musician-Netherlands Sara Omar: Writer, and lawyer (Denmark – Germany) Muhsin Adib: Writer and researcher in law theory Sara Qadir: Journalist, and lecturer at Sulaymaniah University-Kurdistan Naliya Ibrahim- Women’s rights activist-Sweden Chairwoman for Never forget Pela and Fadime Organisation in Sweden Arland Mehmetaj: activist with Initiative communiste-ouvrière-France Nwenar Ahmad: Artist, Musician, director of Bara house of Art Samal Ali: Philosophy lecturer at university of Raparin-Kurdistan Zilan Ali: Journalist at Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights-Kurdistan Nergiz Qadir: Journalist at Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights-Kurdistan Arsalan Rahman: Journalist at Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights-Kurdistan Sakar Rostam: Journalist and programme manager at Warvin foundation-Kurdistan Kaywan Hawrami: Journalist-Kurdistan Faraidon Arif: Writer and journalist-India & Kurdistan Yadgar Fayaq: TV presenter and journalist-Kurdistan Aram Jalal: Member of Network in defence of rights and freedoms of people in Kurdistan & Religious critic based in Finland Yaseen Hama Ali: Designer at Hawlati Newspaper-Sulaymania Akram Nadir: international Representative of FWCUI-Canada Khulia Hussein / Poet and women’s Right’s advocate Pola Qasim Nori: Student at Fine Arts Institute-Kurdistan Kazhal Nuri: Writer, and civil society activist-Netherlands Dr. Yousuf Zangana: Academic, London-UK Dr.Rebwar Karim Mahmoud: political science Lecturer -University of Sulaymania-Kurdistan Kaziwa Salih: Writer and journalist-Canada Chiman Salih: Editor in chief of Kurdistan OnlineAwezan Noori: Writer and human rights activist-Kerku Dr.Salar Basira: University of Sulaymaniah-Kurdistan Aziz Raouf: Writer-Kurdistan Sarbast K. Arif: Painter, writer-Norway Fariba Mohamadi: Writer-Kurdistan Mahin Shokrolahpoor: Women’s rights activist-France Chia Yasin: Journalist and women’s rights activist Ibrahim Abbas: Journalist-Kurdistan Azad Hama Rasoul: Artist-Norway Halgurd Samad, Journalist/ France Shwan Raouf: Civil society activist-Kurdistan Tara Hawrami: Women’s rights activist-Sweden Adiba Ahmad: Journalist- Kurdistan Shwan Sdiq: Journalist- Kurdistan Shankar Abdula: Journalist-Kurdistan Kamil Ahmed: Artist-Germany Jasim Gafour: Artist-UK Twana Ali: Journalist-Kurdistan Kit Larsen Hughes: Teacher-Sweden Avin Mirawdeli: PHD Student-UK Mihraban Ali: Women’s rights activist-Finland Serwa Ali: Women’s rights activist-Canada Hana Ali: Women’s rights activist-Canada Samira Hamasalih Fathulla: Nurse – Finland Laura Guidetti: Italian feminist journal Marea, Italy Jaza Hamasalih Wali: Social researcher-Kurdistan Salah Fathollah: Artist-Finland Sarkawt Ahmad: UK Salah Kermashani: Finalnd Aram Hawrami: Gothenburg-Sweden Nigar Ibrahim: Step by Step in Gothenburg-U.S.A Blend Said: Kurdistan Hazha Najat: Kurdistan Rebwar Raza Chuchani: Journalist-Kurdistan Nicolas Dessaux, on behalf of Solidarité Irak- France Shahen Husain: Kurdistan Goran Jaf: Switzerland Hawrey Nishtman: Kurdistan Rubar Gule: Kurdistan Dana Sherzan Osman: Kurdistan Goran Osman: Worker-Switzerland Soran Palani: Lawyer and journalist Kalè Karim: Wome’s rights activist-Switzerland Choman Osman: Journalist-Kurdistan Goran Ali: Writer-Sweden Pekin Hussein: Kurdistan Muhammed Rash: Kurdistan’ Dillan zandy: Kurdistan Farman Sadiq: Journalist-Kurdistan Aram Salim: Kurdistan Mohammed Ahmad Hassan: Kurdistan Chra Ali: Kurdistan Sangar Salem: Kurdistan Lanja Abdullah: Director of Warvin for Women’s Rights in Kurdistan Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights- Kurdistan Roj Aziz: Political activist Hersh Yasin: Kurdistan Shahla Dabaghi: Women’s rights activist-Sweden Soraya Taher: UK Vian Mariwani: Germany Halima Rasouli: Women’s rights activist-Kurdistan Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML): United Kingdom Shirkat Gah- Women’s Resource Centre Pakistan The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

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