Monday, November 22, 2010

Honor killings in Iraqi Kurdistan

I did not know until recently the scale of "honor killings" in Kurdistan. In this sad story, a man was killed by his wife's brother, because her family did not approve of the marriage.

"Honor killing has a long history in Iraq and here in the semiautonomous region of Kurdistan. But even here, this couple’s case stood out because the man was killed, not the woman, and because of the political clout of the warring families.

As some Iraqi lawmakers try to crack down on honor killing, the case — in which there have been no arrests — also illustrates how difficult it can be to uproot a deep-seated tribal honor code.

More than 12,000 women were killed in the name of honor in Kurdistan from 1991 to 2007, according to Aso Kamal of the Doaa Network Against Violence. Government figures are much lower, and show a decline in recent years, and Kurdish law has mandated since 2008 that an honor killing be treated like any other murder. But the practice continues, and the crime is often hidden or disguised to look like suicide."

1 comment :

Mister Ghost said...

Yes Muhannad, honor killings are rampant in rural Kurdistan as well as FGM.

There is the famous case of former Kurdish Muslim, Asya Ahmad Muhammad:

In prison at the age of 14 for having fatally stabbed her uncle in northern Iraq, Asya Ahmad Muhammad’s early release on Nov. 10 thanks to a juvenile court decision was overshadowed by fear of retaliation from her extended Muslim family. Also known as Maria, the now 16-year-old Muhammad was sentenced to five years in prison for killing her paternal uncle in self-defense on July 9, 2006 when he attacked her, her mother and little brother at their family kitchen utensil store in the outskirts of Dohuk.

The uncle had cut her mother and was fiercely beating them for converting to Christianity and for “shaming” the family by working in public when Muhammad stabbed him. Her lawyer, Akram Al-Najar, told Compass that the court earlier agreed to reduce her sentence to two years and four months on the basis of her good conduct and having served nearly three-quarters of her three-and-a-half year sentence.

Her Muslim grandparents wanted her and her father killed too...