Appeal to the authorities of Kurdistan to reverse the death penalty for Kouistane Sediq

ECPM and Iraqi Coalition Statement (1)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?”. [Read more...]

If not now, then when?

Someone always has some statistics about the West’s failings whenever I speak of Iran or Islam or sharia and wants to know what I’m doing about it…

Next time I meet someone protesting against the welfare cuts in Britain, I’ll be sure to ask what s/he is doing about the Iranian regime’s cut in subsidies or the brutal economic sanctions!? (Not.)

And this happens to me all the time and it’s usually from people who do – well – nothing.

Just recently, after my talk at the National Secular Society’s Secularism conference, someone came up to specifically advise me not to focus on  Sharia law as it is discriminatory to do so (I guess they were sleeping during my speech). I asked the ‘well-meaning’ chap whether he would then go up to the brilliant Sue Cox at the adjoining Survivors Voice – Europe stall to ‘advise’ her to focus on something other than paedophilia and child rape in the church because it was so very discriminatory against Christianity. My point was that this is a demand solely made of us dissenters of Islam.

It never seems to be the right time or place to raise our issues…

I am now reminded of this because again today some dimwit, biasedfreethoughts, has spewed off statistics on US executions in a comment on my piece on the current killing spree by the Islamic regime of Iran and asked what I am doing against executions in the US!

That I am a long-term anti-death penalty campaigner or that this demand is never made of anti-DP campaigners in the US are side issues.

What angers me most about this sort of comparison (apart from being patronising) is that the reason behind it is not a real concern about the death penalty. Rather it is an attempt to promote a hierarchy of rights and wrongs – with the US always in the lead, thereby trivialising and dehumanising the lives of ‘the other’ and also their forms of resistance. If it’s not somehow holding the US culpable for everything, then it’s not the time and place.

Let me fill you all in on a secret.

The precious lives of the thirteen executed in the past 48 hours  – whatever their ‘crimes’ – is just as important  as the precious lives of those languishing on death row in the US – not more and not less.

And whilst I have often said that US-led militarism is the other side of the coin of Islamism, am I not allowed to focus on the executions in Iran if I so choose without someone telling me what is more important to condemn?

If not now, then when?

If not me, then who?

 

Day of Agreement

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All are calling on everyone to join the Day of Agreement.

It’s quite easy to do.

On 10 October, upload the day’s logo as your avatar on social media, Tweet #dayofagreement or try it with your colleagues, family and friends.

You can also join our five minute flash-mob at 6pm in central London. (Email for more details).

Just remember, you can’t disagree with anyone – your colleagues, spouse, lover(s), mates, neighbours, children, bosses, or even politicians…

You are not allowed to dissent, ‘offend’ or question.

And before anyone gets too excited, they have to remember that they must also agree with everything you say. It’s only fair…

Seems impossible?

But that is what is expected of those of us who question, criticise or choose to leave Islam, including many Muslims and ex-Muslims…

Try it.

And while it all seems a bit of fun – on October 10 International Day against the Death Penalty – don’t forget that there are many living under Sharia law who are daily facing threats, imprisonment and execution for merely expressing themselves.

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
[email protected]

http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

One Law for All
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
[email protected]
www.onelawforall.org.uk