Kouistane Sediq is at danger of being hanged in Iraq after being sentenced to death by the court of Kalar for murdering her husband. She is imprisoned in the jail of Salam in Sulaymaniyah and shares a cell with six other women also sentenced to death. Kouistane, a mother of four, has not been allowed to see her children once since her arrest in February 2012.
The situation of the death penalty in Iraqi Kurdistan is unclear as is the institutional reality in Northern Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government promulgates its own criminal laws and amendments to the Iraqi criminal law, and applies a moratorium on executions. The Iraqi federal government meanwhile continues to apply the death penalty. The crime Mrs. Kouistane Sediq is charged with took place on a territory, which the local and federal authorities are disputing the control of.
Although ultimately imprisoned in Sulaymaniyah, Kouistane Sediq, who receives no support from the Ministry of Human Rights in Iraq, is worried about the outcome of her conviction.
The Iraqi Coalition against the death penalty, which has been supporting her for several weeks, was able to visit her in her cell. At this meeting, Kouistane pleads her innocence:
“I feel freer here in prison. Before my arrest, I did not spend one day without being humiliated or abused by my husband. I filed eight complaints at the police station, each time I had to return home against my will. All my complaints are recorded at the police station. Once my husband pulled a gun in my father’s house, fortunately nobody was hit. My husband had many enemies, and me, I have supported him for more than ten years, how could I participate in his murder?”.
Kouistane states that she confessed under pressure and torture. She faced an unfair trial. “I was sentenced to death after two court hearings without a lawyer or witnesses in my defence. They called my children; the oldest was 15, to testify against me. None of my children have said that I killed their father. ”
We urge the Kurdistan Regional Government to reverse the death sentence pronounced against Kouistane Sediq. We call on the international community to encourage the Kurdistan Regional Government to lead the abolition process in Iraq by definitely abolishing the death penalty in law. We call on the international community to pressure the Iraqi federal government to implement a moratorium on executions.
Together against the death penalty
Contact: Nicolas Braye, MENA Officer – nbraye@abolition.[email protected] / 0033 (0)1 80 87 70 55
Iraqi coalition against the death penalty
Contact: Samir Noory, Northern Iraq representative – [email protected] / 00964 (0) 77 06 68 07 93
With the support of the Iraqi Organization for Women’s Liberation, the Tunisian Coalition against the death penalty, the Moroccan Coalition against the death penalty, the Jordanian Coalition against the death penalty, the International Committee Against Executions, Iran Human Rights and the Lebanese Association for Civil Rights (LACR); coordinator of the Lebanese campaign against the death penalty.