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Justice for Nigar Rahim

nigarrahimAn appeal to women organisations and human rights activists worldwide to condemn the Kurdistan Regional Government and seek justice for Nigar Rahim
Raped by one brother, killed by another brother to wash the shame brought upon family “honour”.Nigar Rahim was only 15 when she was killed by her brother on the 20th of July in Garmian in Kurdistan-Iraq. Nigar had been raped and impregnated by one of her brothers. She was protected along with her child by the Directorate to Investigate Violence against Women for six months after giving birth. Nigar and her brother were arrested at the beginning of this year; the brother was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment while Nigar was released on bail according to the police in Garmian where the case was dealt with. She was then under the protection of the Directorate.

After six months, another brother of Nigar entered a negotiation with the police and signed a document promising not to harm her. The police handed her over to the family on the 12th of June, but she was killed by that other brother on the 20th of July.

The rape and murder of a young girl in this manner shows a lack of responsibility on the part of state institutions who are only promoting such crimes by not providing long-term, intense protection and care in cases like Nigar’s. The situation of a 15 year old girl being raped by her own brother, traumatised, shocked, and giving birth to a child from her own brother in a highly patriarchal and socially conservative society is very complex. Victims of rape are considered guilty and therefore deserving of death to clear the shame brought upon the family’s so-called honour.

In Kurdistan where, on a daily basis, women are killed, degraded, or forced to commit suicide through self-immolation, even young girls’ lives are not safe. For the last 20 years the Kurdistan Regional Government have turned a blind eye to the plight of women, to the point where the situation is now almost out of control. Despite the anger and protest by activists and organisations opposed to this situation, the killing and violence against women continue.

It is time for the government and its institutions to take the necessary steps to uproot these misogynist, patriarchal, and tribal practices that has turned the country into a hell and a prison for women.

We the undersigned therefore demand:

1-   The head of the Directorate and the persons who were involved in handing Nigar over to her family must be investigated.
2- Stop handing over women and girls whose lives are in risk merely through signing a document with no legal consequences, as this gives families a free hand to kill female members.
3- A clear and transparent investigation must be made into this case, with the results to be made public.
4- Declare rape to be a crime and abolish all punishment for the victim.
5- Provide protection, medical care, and social help to victims of rape so that they will be able to rebuild their lives.

The undersigned of this appeal are:

Houzan Mahmoud: Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq-UK
Ophelia Benson, blogger and columnist.
Najiba Mahmud: Women’s rights activist-Sweden
Edith Rubinstein: retired, Woman in Black.
Jim Catterson: Regional Contact person MENA Region Industrial Global Union
Choman Hardi: Writer and academic researcher
Mariwan Kanie: Assistant professor of Arab and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Amsterdam-Netherlands
Bahar Monzir: Women’s rights activist-Kurdistan
London Feminist Network- UK
MADRE: International women’s human rights organization-U.S.A
Thomas Schmidinger: Political Scientist- Austria.
Fuad Qaradaghy: Writer-Kurdistan
Mary Kreutzer: (Leeza, Association for Emancipatory Development Cooperation; and University of Applied Sciences Dornbirn)-Austria
Nicola Stott: Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York-UK
Lesley Abdela: Shevolution-UK
Bill Weinberg, author and independent journalist, New York
Chilura Hardi: Women’s rights activist-Kurdistan
Deanne Rauscher: Journalist researcher (member of The Swedish Journalist Association)-Sweden
Valeria Dessì: Research Student, SOAS-University of London-UK
Göran Gustavsson: Member of the representative assembly Municipal Workers Union Stockholm- Sweden.
Noori Bashir: Writer-UK
Avin Fatah: Social researcher and women’s rights activist in Hawler-Kurdistan
Maryam Namazie: Spokesperson, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and One Law for All, UK
Maria Fantappie: Researcher and Writer-Italy
Lisa-Marie Taylor: Feminism in London 2013 Project Manager-UK
Gjuner Nebiu: Women’s Civic Initiatives Antico, Republic of Macedonia
Sawsan Zakzak: Researcher- Syria
Lilian Halls-French:  European Feminist Initiative IFE-EFI-France
Muslih Irwani: Lecturer and Researcher-UK
Diana Ferrus: Writer, and Poet from the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town- South Africa
Lawzha Jawad: Women’s rights activist- Denmark
Stara Arif: Journalist, and civil society activist-Kurdistan
Parwa Ali: Journalist-Kurdistan
Shwan Mohammed: Journalist-Kurdistan
Arian Omed Arif: Red Honour group-Norway
Christian Ronse, University Professor of Computer Science (France)
Nask Hussein: Poet-Canada
Aso Jabar: Writer-USA
Tara Twana: Member of Social Democratic Party & Stockholm municipality-Sweden
Halala Rafie: Nina Centre-Sweden
Sarkaw Hadi: Theatrical actor and writer
Nahid Mokri: Women’s rights activist and writer-Sweden
Glyn Harries: Hackney Trades Union Council-UK
Gona Saed: Women’s rights activist-UK
Nyaz Abdullah: journalist and women’s rights activist-Kurdistan
Saira Zuberi: Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Sophie Boiszeau: Initiative-Communiste-Ouvrière-France
Stéphane Julien: Teacher, Solidarité Irak-France
Liam McNulty: Alliance for Workers’ Liberty-UK
Jani Diylan: Journalist-USA
Rebecca Hybbinette: PHD in political philosophy -Sweden
Shahla Nouri: Director of Women’s Liberation-Sweden
Joana Vicente Baginha: Member of Portuguese feminist organisation UMAR-UK
Floyd Codlin: PCS Trade Union Chair at the British Library-UK
Esther Townsend: Workers’ Liberty, Women’s Fightback & NCAFC Women’s Committee (PC)-UK
Twana Taha: Journalist-Soran-Kurdistan
Kawan Kadir: Artist-Canada
San Saravan: Documentary film maker-Kurdistan
Hawzhin Gharib: Journalist-Kurdistan
Halwest Abdulah Karim: Civil society activist-Kurdistan
Salah Raouf: Musician-Netherlands
Sara Omar: Writer, and lawyer (Denmark – Germany)
Muhsin Adib: Writer and researcher in law theory
Sara Qadir: Journalist, and lecturer at Sulaymaniah University-Kurdistan
Naliya Ibrahim- Women’s rights activist-Sweden
Chairwoman for Never forget Pela and Fadime Organisation in Sweden
Arland Mehmetaj: activist with Initiative communiste-ouvrière-France
Nwenar Ahmad: Artist, Musician, director of Bara house of Art
Samal Ali: Philosophy lecturer at university of Raparin-Kurdistan
Zilan Ali: Journalist at Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights-Kurdistan
Nergiz Qadir: Journalist at Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights-Kurdistan
Arsalan Rahman: Journalist at Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights-Kurdistan
Sakar Rostam: Journalist and programme manager at Warvin foundation-Kurdistan
Kaywan Hawrami: Journalist-Kurdistan
Faraidon Arif: Writer and journalist-India & Kurdistan
Yadgar Fayaq: TV presenter and journalist-Kurdistan
Aram Jalal: Member of Network in defence of rights and freedoms of people in Kurdistan & Religious critic based in Finland
Yaseen Hama Ali: Designer at Hawlati Newspaper-Sulaymania
Akram Nadir: international Representative of FWCUI-Canada
Khulia Hussein / Poet and women’s Right’s advocate
Pola Qasim Nori: Student at Fine Arts Institute-Kurdistan
Kazhal Nuri: Writer, and civil society activist-Netherlands
Dr. Yousuf Zangana: Academic, London-UK
Dr.Rebwar Karim Mahmoud: political science Lecturer -University of Sulaymania-Kurdistan
Kaziwa Salih: Writer and journalist-Canada
Chiman Salih: Editor in chief of KurdistanOnline
Awezan Noori: Writer and human rights activist-Kerku
Dr.Salar Basira: University of Sulaymaniah-Kurdistan
Aziz Raouf: Writer-Kurdistan
Sarbast K. Arif: Painter, writer-Norway
Fariba Mohamadi: Writer-Kurdistan
Mahin Shokrolahpoor: Women’s rights activist-France
Chia Yasin: Journalist and women’s rights activist
Ibrahim Abbas: Journalist-Kurdistan
Azad Hama Rasoul: Artist-Norway
Halgurd Samad, Journalist/ France
Shwan Raouf: Civil society activist-Kurdistan
Tara Hawrami: Women’s rights activist-Sweden
Adiba Ahmad: Journalist- Kurdistan
Shwan Sdiq: Journalist- Kurdistan
Shankar Abdula: Journalist-Kurdistan
Kamil Ahmed: Artist-Germany
Jasim Gafour: Artist-UK
Twana Ali: Journalist-Kurdistan
Kit Larsen Hughes: Teacher-Sweden
Avin Mirawdeli: PHD Student-UK
Mihraban Ali: Women’s rights activist-Finland
Serwa Ali: Women’s rights activist-Canada
Hana Ali: Women’s rights activist-Canada
Samira Hamasalih Fathulla: Nurse – Finland
Laura Guidetti:  Italian feminist journal Marea, Italy
Jaza Hamasalih Wali: Social researcher-Kurdistan
Salah Fathollah: Artist-Finland
Sarkawt Ahmad: UK
Salah Kermashani: Finalnd
Aram Hawrami: Gothenburg-Sweden
Nigar Ibrahim: Step by Step in Gothenburg-U.S.A
Blend Said: Kurdistan
Hazha Najat: Kurdistan
Rebwar Raza Chuchani: Journalist-Kurdistan
Nicolas Dessaux, on behalf of Solidarité Irak- France
Shahen Husain: Kurdistan
Goran Jaf: Switzerland
Hawrey Nishtman: Kurdistan
Rubar Gule: Kurdistan
Dana Sherzan Osman: Kurdistan
Goran Osman: Worker-Switzerland
Soran Palani: Lawyer and journalist
Kalè Karim: Wome’s rights activist-Switzerland
Choman Osman: Journalist-Kurdistan
Goran Ali: Writer-Sweden
Pekin Hussein: Kurdistan
Muhammed Rash: Kurdistan
Dillan zandy: Kurdistan
Farman Sadiq: Journalist-Kurdistan
Aram Salim: Kurdistan
Mohammed Ahmad Hassan: Kurdistan
Chra Ali: Kurdistan
Sangar Salem: Kurdistan
Lanja Abdullah: Director of Warvin for Women’s Rights in Kurdistan
Warvin Foundation for Women’s Rights- Kurdistan
Roj Aziz: Political activist
Hersh Yasin: Kurdistan
Shahla Dabaghi: Women’s rights activist-Sweden
Soraya Taher: UK
Vian Mariwani: Germany
Halima Rasouli: Women’s rights activist-Kurdistan

Katha Pollitt: The Nation
Aram Ali: University lecturer in Sulaymaniah University-Kurdistan
Tara Jaff: Musician-UK
Dalia Mahmood: Sweden
Hama Ghafour: Political activist-The Netherlands
Sozan Amin: Women’s rights activist, and member in Nina Centre-Sweden
Joanna Payton: Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation
Karzan Ali: UK

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML): United Kingdom
BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights – Nigeria
Justice For Iran Organisation

Lateef Kayode Akinbode, President / Project Director, Community Women’s Rights Foundation
Salmmah Women Resource Centre- Sudan
Hina Noureen, President- Baidarie, Pakistan
Vision Spring Initiatives- Nigeria
Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP)- Gambia
BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights – Nigeria
Nancy Mereska, President, Stop Polygamy in Canada Society
K. Dee Ignatin, Executive Director, Americans Against Abuses of Polygamy – USA
Outaleb Fatima, UAF- Morocco
Shirkat Gah- Pakistan
Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)- Istanbul, Turkey
The Canadian Council of Muslim Women- Canada
Fatima Outaleb, Union de L’Action Feminine- Morocco
EDI for Gender Justice- Nigeria
Femmes et Droits Humains-
Faizun Zackariya, Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum- Sri Lanka
Future Leadership Development Initiative (FLD)

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