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News and Views: Iraq

Isis: Shocking images released of blindfolded couple being stoned to death for sex before marriage

March 30, 2015

Shocking new images have emerged showing Islamic State militants stoning a blindfolded and bound man and woman to death in Iraq.
The couple were sentenced to death for having sex before marriage.
A large crowd, including children and women, gather at the scene in the town square in Mosul in Nineveh province, to watch as the couple are murdered.
The bearded IS executioner-in-chief Abu Ansar al-Ansari pronounces the order of stoning for "fornication."

Isis throws 'gay' men off tower, stones woman accused of adultery and crucifies 17 young men in 'retaliatory' wave of executions

January 20, 2015

The Isis militant group has reportedly carried out a seemingly unprecedented string of public executions – including throwing men accused of being gay off towers, stoning a woman accused of adultery and crucifying at least 17 young men in a 48-hour period.

Iraqi ‘sex workers’ slaughtered amid culture of fear and secrecy

August 6, 2014

BAGHDAD: Apartment blocks near a mosque and a kindergarten daubed with cartoon characters seem an unlikely place for the slaughter of 27 alleged sex workers, but in Baghdad death is never far. 

Few people in the Iraqi capital's Zayouna district know any details of what happened in their neighbourhood late on Saturday, and even fewer want to hazard a guess. 

Iraqi Women Seek a New Liberation

January 16, 2013

An interview with Hanaa Edwar, general secretary of Iraqi Al Amal Association and head of the Iraqi Women Network.

Female Circumcision Still Prevalent Among Some Kurdish Communities

May 4, 2012

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- Around 34 percent of women in the ethnically diverse city of Kirkuk have been circumcised and most of them are Kurdish, according to a new joint survey by the German WADI organization and the Iraqi Pana Center.

The survey on female genital mutilation found that the practice has declined in Kirkuk; however, 15 percent of girls in the community under 20 have been circumcised.

Iraq: Increasing brutal killings of LGBT Iraqis

March 2, 2012

New barbaric attacks started against the Iraqi lgbt in many cities like Baghdad and Basra while using inhumane methods such as hitting the head and body parts of gay victims with building concrete blocks repeatedly till death or by pushing them over high building roof which took place in Basra city.

Iraq: Unchanging Laws Enable Abuse with Impunity

October 11, 2011

Salma Jassim was beaten, kicked out of her marital home with her newborn daughter on her shoulder and then deserted by her husband. But she says the threat she faces from her own family, who feel shamed because of her divorce, is just as bad as the abuse.

Iraq: Fight for Women’s Rights Begins All Over Again

September 13, 2011

BAGHDAD, Sep 13, 2011 (IPS) - When a middle-aged mother took a taxi alone from Baghdad to Nasiriyah, about 300 kilometres south earlier this year, her 20-year-old driver stopped on the way, pulled her to the side of the road and raped her. And that began a telling legal struggle.

"She is not a simple case," says Hanaa Edwar, head of the Iraqi rights-based Al-Amal Association, established in Baghdad after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. 

Iraq: Attacks continue on women human rights defenders

August 25, 2011

FRIDAY FILE: Women have been at the forefront of demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the recent popular uprisings, which have received much media and international attention. In contrast, coverage of attacks on women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Iraq’s Tahrir Square demonstrations has been limited, AWID asks why.

Iraqi Kurdistan Bans Female Genital Mutilation

August 4, 2011

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday welcomed a draft law banning female genital mutilation by the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Family Violence Bill approved June 21 by the autonomous government includes several provisions criminalising the practice in Kurdistan, HRW, said, adding that prevalence of FGM among girls and women in Kurdistan "is at least 40 percent."

Yanar Mohammed: Iraqi Women’s Vigilant Champion

June 28, 2011

The democratic spirit of the Arab Spring uprisings is alive and well in the determination of women protesters in Iraq, who are seeing their rights slip away under the current administration.

Women from Around the World Condemn Attack on Peaceful Protesters in Iraq and Call for an End to Sexual Assault of Women Protesters

July 18, 2011

The global campaign Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) joins our sisters at MADRE and feminist activists around the world in calling for full security of our sisters and brothers in Bagdhad's Tahrir Square, protesting peacefully for basic rights.

Iraq: Toying with polygamy as solution for war widows

January 26, 2011


Years of conflict in Iraq have left the country with more than one million war widows and a shortage of young unmarried men - pressures that may be bringing about the return of polygamy.

Hanan lost eight members of her family in the war, including her husband, and was left to bring up three children alone.

The experience has not broken her. She continues to work as a hairdresser in her noisy and lively home on Haifa Street in Baghdad.

But she still needs a "man-shelter", she says - and this is why she ended up married to a married man.

Homosexuality Fears Over Gender Equality in Iraqi Kurdistan

December 20, 2010


Despite the predominance of a male religious culture, Kurdish women are taking on more and more traditionally male activities. These young women are preparing for a marathon in Erbil.
By SAMAN BASHARATI ------ Photo by Namo Abdulla for Rudaw.

Iraq: Kurdistan - Study Shows Prevalence of FGM - Urge to Ban

New survey reveals that majority of women in Kurdistan have undergone genital mutilation.

By Qassim Khidhir in Erbil (ICR No. 323, 11-Feb-10)

Mariam Nadr, 77, has a fine home in an upscale neighbourhood of Erbil and is a prominent member of the community. She has a bright smile, a calm demeanour and wears the white shawl of a respected Kurdish matron.

Part of Nadr’s social standing stems from her past: for many years mothers came to her to perform genital mutilations on their daughters. For these women, the act was a cultural and religious rite.

Gay killings on rise in Iraq?

BAGHDAD, May 28 (UPI) -- About 30 people have been killed in Iraq in the past three months because they were homosexual or believed to be gay, a U.N. agency says.

Iraqi gays face gruesome torture/murder technique

As the murder campaign targeting Iraqi gays intensifies, a leading Arabic television network last week revealed the use of a horrifying new form of lethal torture against Iraqi gay men - anti-gay Shiite death squads are sealing their anuses with a powerful glue, then inducing diarrhea, which leads to a painful and agonizing death. The use of this stomach-turning new torture was first reported by the Al Arabiya network, which is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates and was alerted to the story by a leading Iraqi feminist and human rights activist.

UN Report: "Honor Killings" Rampant in Iraq

In Iraq, a story of rape, shame and 'honor killing'

Alaa al-Marjani / Associated Press

SOFA in Iraq: Would you marry your rapist?

Yanar Mohammed, President of the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq (http://www.equalityiniraq.com/) compares the States of Forces Agreement to forced marriage witha rapist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_Forces_Agreement)

Don't blame the victims of violence against women

Hamida Ghafour

As a woman travelling and working alone in the Islamic world I am sometimes not subject to the same rules as my male colleagues, which has its advantages.

Honor Killings Continue in Iraq

Tuesday, 6 January 2009, 11:24 am

by Bhumika Ghimire

Female Genital Cutting in Kurdistan

For Kurdish Girls, a Painful Ancient Ritual

The Widespread Practice of Female Circumcision in Iraq's North Highlights The Plight of Women in a Region Often Seen as More Socially Progressive

Iraq: Hitman charges $100 a victim as Basra honour killings rise

IRAQ - HITMEN CHARGE $100 A VICTIM AS BASRA HONOUR KILLINGS RISE

Fathers and husbands who openly hire assassins on the streets of the city are going unpunished

Honor killing outcry in Iraq

February 25, 2008

Six years ago, Hataw fled to a women's shelter to escape her brother's rage when she refused to marry the man he chose for her. Just a few weeks later, her brother ambushed her and her mother near the shelter, opening fire with an automatic weapon.

Women's lives in occupied Iraq

March 7, 2008

Iraq, where women once had more rights and freedom than most others in the Arab world, has turned deadly for women who dream of education and a professional career.

Activists call for legislative reforms to tackle honour killing

February 18, 2008

Six years ago, Hataw fled to a women’s shelter to escape her brother’s rage when she refused to marry the man he chose for her.