World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Iraq: "Honour Killings" Persist In Kurdish North


IRAQ: "Honour killings" persist in Kurdish north

At least 27 Iraqi Kurdish women have been murdered for having illicit affairs in so-called "honour killings" in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan over the past four months, an official from the regional government said on 4 December.

"Ten murdered women were from Arbil, 11 from Dahouk and six from Sulaimaniyah [the three provinces making up the Kurdish region], while 97 other women - 60 in Arbil, 21 in Dahouk and 16 in Sulaimaniyah - had tried to commit suicide by self-immolation during the four months," said Youssif Mohamed Aziz, the regional minister of human rights.

"Since the beginning of this year, the regional government of Kurdistan has formed a committee... to address all forms of violence against women and especially the 'honour killings'," Aziz said.

Since then, he said, awareness-raising campaigns had been conducted, human rights education had been introduced in schools, and Muslim leaders had been denouncing the phenomenon as being against Islam.

Tough penalties

According to a 26 November report by Kurdistan's Human Rights Ministry, the number of women who committed suicide by setting themselves on fire increased from 36 in 2005 to 133 in 2006, and murders of women rose from four in 2005 to 17 in 2006.

"Honour killings", driven by the view that a family's honour is paramount, are an ancient tradition associated with the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Iran and Turkey as well as tribal areas in Pakistan and some Arab societies.

Kurdish officials are now, however, seeking to stem the murders and change attitudes by condemning the custom and threatening tough penalties.

In 2002 Kurdistan's parliament revoked Iraqi laws that allowed defendants to be cleared or treated leniently in the case of an "honour killing". These laws, it is believed, were instituted by former President Saddam Hussein to curry favour with traditionalists.

UN report

In its reports on human rights in Iraq, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has regularly highlighted "honour killings" as one of Iraq's most serious human rights abuses.

It has urged the judiciary to send a clear signal that the killing of women to "protect honour" will not be tolerated.

A UNAMI report in June 2007 said incidents involving violence against women in the Kurdistan region had increased by 18 percent between March and May of 2006.

Citing official Kurdistan Regional Government statistics, UNAMI recorded 15 deaths caused by blunt objects, 87deaths by burning and 16 deaths by shooting in the first quarter of 2007. In the second quarter, there were eight deaths caused by blunt objects, 108 deaths by burning and 21 deaths by shooting.

sm/ar/cb

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news