Condemn the brutal stoning to death of Doa – a young girl whose only crime was to fall in love

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Doa was stoned to death in the centre of the town of Bashiqa, Iraqi Kurdistan, in front of hundreds of people and the authorities did not prevent this crime from happening. On the contrary, they were present and paving the way for this horrific crime to be carried out.

Doa was a 17 year old girl from a family of Yazidi faith; she was snatched from her house by some Yazidi men who discovered that she was in love with a Muslim Arab man and had visited him. They stoned her to death in public on 7th April 2007 in the town of Bashiqa.

It is known that women in Kurdistan and Iraq are oppressed. The few rights they do have are very limited and in most cases they are treated as sub-humans.

Killings, suicide, and violence against women are an every day occurrence in this region. Although a crime of this nature is very new to Kurdistan, this is an indication that such crimes against women are now tolerated. Doa’s killers are still free.

The government’s failure to protect women, and enforce laws against criminals, has created a situation where thousands of women become victims of so called “honour killings”. Violence has risen as result of patriarchal and religious traditions.

We strongly condemn this barbaric act, and call upon all human rights and women’s rights organisations, political parties, and activists in Kurdistan and globally to condemn this crime.

In the 21st century, for such crimes to be carried out in broad daylight is not only a shame on society as whole, but most of all, it is a shame on a government that is unable to protect women from such inhumane and backward practices. The stoning of Doa sets a dangerous precedent for more women to become victims of stoning.

We hold the Kurdistan Regional Government responsible for the lives and protection of women in this region, and we believe that the brutalisation and victimisation of women must come to an end.

We the undersigned therefore demand:

That the Kurdistan Regional Government brings the killers to justice and punishes them.

The Kurdistan regional Government should set laws against terror, killings and oppression of women, and punish criminals.

To avoid this barbaric crime from becoming a norm and a practice in Kurdish society, the Kurdistan Regional Government should criminalise stoning to death.

The initiators of this campaign are:

Houzan Mahmoud: Representative abroad of Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and campaign coordinator

Raga Rauf: Writer and women’s rights activist and campaign coordinator

Samera Mohammed: Editor of Rasan women’s newspaper in Kurdistan

Yanar Mohammed: President Of Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq

Aram Ali: Coordinator of the Kurdish website

Baker Ahmad: Writer and poet

Dler Colnadar: member of executive board of CHAK organisation

Omar Faris: coordinator of a Kurdish website

Dina Nammi: International Campaign against Honour Killings

Amal Almas: (Iraqi Women’s League) Gothenburg -Sweden

Federation of Workers councils and unions in Iraq/ Kurdistan representative

Chro Sabir: Director of Rasan women’s organisation in Kurdistan

Hana Shwan: Journalist and women’s rights activist in Kurdistan

Hamza Abd: The Iraqi Cultural House in Gothenburg-Sweden

To join this campaign or to show your support pleases contact: Campaign Coordinators: Houzan Mahmoud and Rega Rauf.