Iraqi Women Face Increased Violence in Kurdistan


This video is called The Plight of Iraqi Women.

Indeed, ‘Mission Accomplished‘ in George W. Bush’s brave new Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction; no links to 9/11 (the official pretexts for the war). Lots of oil (the real reason for the war).

More deaths than in the worst days of Saddam Hussein. More torture than in the worst days of Saddam Hussein. More unemployment than ever. No hospitals built; no schools; only the gigantic new US colonial administration building embassy; segregation walls; and more prisons than ever.

Gay people worse off than ever. Women losing rights they had had for a long time.

What happens to Iraqi women during George W. Bush’s still UNaccomplished Operation Iraqi Liberation Freedom?

Microsoft News reports:

Marine ordered Iraqi women and kids shot, squad member testifies

CAMP PENDLETON, California — A Marine charged with murdering two girls and killing several other Iraqis gave orders to shoot into a roomful of children and young women, a squad member testified.

Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum then went into the room himself, followed by loud noise that could have been M-16 gunfire or a grenade, said Lance Cpl. Humberto Manuel Mendoza.

“I told him there’s just womens and kids in the room,” Mendoza said Tuesday. “He replied, ‘Well, shoot them.”‘

But wait, pro Iraq war pundits point out, you might be right for most of Iraq. However, in the far north, in Kurdistan, things are better.

Well, arguably, they were already better there before the 2003 US invasion, which did not happen there, contrary to the rest of Iraq. But are things really so splendid now in Kurdistan? Concerning human rights, and torture?

And now, from IPS:

IRAQ: Women Face Increased Violence in Kurdistan

By Mohammed A. Salih

ERBIL, Jul 18 (IPS) – Shawbo Rauf Ali, 19, clearly did not know that the picnic she was headed for would become a death trap. When she got there, her husband and several other men beat her to death on suspicion of extra-marital relations.

The suspicion arose because of an unknown number that appeared on Shawbo’s cell phone.

The men fled after the murder. Two who had British citizenship left for the UK. Kurdish officials have said the British police will now extradite them to Iraq. The other two have been arrested and are awaiting trial.

The murder of Shawbo is among numerous ‘honour killings’ in the Kurdish region every year. A Kurdistan parliament report has warned of an “increasing rate of violence against women.”

In Sulaimaniya province south of Erbil, 24 women have been killed in the first half of this year, says the parliament report. Arrests have been made in only five of these cases.

In 2005, four women were reported killed in the Kurdish region’s three provinces Erbil, Sulaimaniya and Dohuk. In 2006 that figure rose to 17. Most of the victims were married women, says a report from the human rights ministry.

These figures do not tell all. Many women are reported to have committed suicide under pressure from male members of the family. In 2005, 22 women committed suicide; in 2006 that number rose to 64, according to police records.

Cholera in northern Iraq: here.

4 thoughts on “Iraqi Women Face Increased Violence in Kurdistan

  1. Northern Iraq hit by major cholera outbreak: minister
    Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:05AM EDT

    By Sherko Raouf

    SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – Health officials in northern Iraq are treating nearly 4,000 suspected cases of cholera and eight people have died so far, the health minister for Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region said on Wednesday.

    “A health catastrophe could emerge in Kurdistan if help is not urgently offered by other states and the World Health Organization (WHO),” minister Zairyan Othman told Reuters.

    Othman said Kurdistan had declared a state of emergency to prevent the spread of the acute intestinal infection, which is caught through contaminated water or food.

    “The epidemic could move to other northern provinces and even to Baghdad,” he warned.

    In Geneva, the WHO said it was aware of two outbreaks — one in the Kurdish province of Sulaimaniya and the other in Kirkuk, a province abutting Kurdistan with a large Kurdish population.

    “The response of the main hospital (in Sulaimaniya) has been very well organized and taken very seriously by the minister of health and by various partners, including WHO,” said Claire-Lise Chaignat, head of WHO’s global task force on cholera control.

    Health officials said the source of infection in Sulaimaniya appeared to be polluted well water that residents were forced to rely on because of a shortage of drinking water. In Kirkuk, cracked water pipes had allowed contamination by sewage.

    Visiting a hospital in Kirkuk, Othman said there were 2,000 suspected cholera cases in Sulaimaniya and 1,924 in Kirkuk.

    Health officials in Sulaimaniya have shut down juice bars and ordered restaurants to stop serving vegetables that may have been washed in polluted water, Sherku Abdullah, the general director of the health office in Sulaimaniya, told Reuters.

    Abdullah, who heads an emergency team set up to tackle the disease, said there were 35 confirmed cases in Sulaimaniya and six people had died. Othman put the death toll in the province at seven, with an eighth victim in Kirkuk.

    He said there were 47 confirmed cases in Kirkuk.

    Abdullah said Iraq’s Health Ministry had sent 50 tons of medical supplies to the Kurdish region to fight the epidemic.

    Dr. Sabah Hawrami, head of the educational hospital of Sulaimaniya, said most of the cholera patients had probably used well water for drinking because of a shortage of treated drinking water, a common problem in Iraq during summer.

    Well water levels dropped in the summer months and could have mixed with sewage water.

    A health alert issued by Kurdistan’s Health Ministry has panicked people in Sulaimaniya. Many have stopped eating in restaurants for fear of becoming infected.

    “Right after rumors spread about cholera, 80 percent of our customers stopped coming. If the situation continues we will go bankrupt,” said Sulaimaniya restaurateur Ahmed Nouridden, 54.

    (Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad and Laura MacInnis in Geneva)

    © Reuters 2007

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