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 Iraq's Kurdistan PM calls for justice for woman allegedly killed by her father

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Iraq's Kurdistan PM calls for justice for woman allegedly killed by her father  14.9.2012 

The Women’s Rights Monitoring Board (WRMB) meeting headed by Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (L) Wednesday 12 September, 2012.
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Iraqi Kurdistan coordinates efforts to tackle violence against women

September 14
, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has called for the retrial of a man who allegedly killed his daughter last February and was found “not guilty” by a Sulêmani court on Tuesday 11 September. The call was made on Wednesday 12 September, at a Women’s Rights Monitoring Board (WRMB) meeting headed by the Prime Minister.

“We applaud civil society groups advocating justice for Sakar Hama Amin and join them in demanding justice.” The PM said.

Sakar Hama Amin, a 28-year-old teacher, was shot in her family home last February in a village near Raniya in the Sulêmani province. She died in hospital two days later. Her father was arrested as the main suspect and her mother was the sole witness. Sakar Hama Amin was reportedly in love with a man who wanted to marry her, but the father stood against the relationship. According to women’s rights activists in Kurdistan, the victim’s mother was reportedly placed under pressure to withhold testimony.

The WRMB meeting on Wednesday discussed KRG gender policies and implementation measures, highlighting shortcomings of policing and legal systems. It identified negative consequences of the General Amnesty Act which criminalizes ‘honor’-based killings but provides possible space for those guilty of femicide to be pardoned.

The WRMB meeting also highlighted the case of 16-year-old Nigar Rahim who was killed by her brother last July in Kalar, the Garmiyan area. Nigar Rahim was raped by one of her brothers. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. At the beginning of this year Nigar gave birth to a child at a women’s protection house run by the Directorate to Tackle Violence Against Women (DTVAW). Following the birth of the child, Nigar was handed back to her family after they pledged to take care of her. However, she was killed. Women’s rights groups criticized the KRG- run DTVAW and called for an investigation into the handling of the case. An investigation committee is being formed to look into the case.

The Women’s Rights Monitoring Board (WRMB) was established in August this year at the initiative of Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

The Board is a forum designed to coordinate several key ministries in the task of improving gender politics in Kurdistan. It brings together the Kurdistan Women’s Council, public prosecution office, justice, interior, labour and social affairs, planning, health, education and higher education as well as the religious affairs ministries. It meets every month and is chaired by the PM and attended by KRG Senior International Advisor on higher education and gender, Dr Nazand Begikhani.

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