Justice for Nigar Rahim

By Houzan Mahmoud

7 August 2012

An 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.

InKurdistanwhere, 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 theUniversityofAmsterdam-Netherlands

Bahar Monzir: Women’s rights activist-Kurdistan


MADRE: International women’s human rights organization-U.S.A

Thomas Schmidinger: PoliticalScientist-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 inIranand 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,RepublicofMacedonia

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 theWestern   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 TradesUnionCouncil-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:Alliancefor 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-Germany

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 inSweden

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

AramJalal: Member of Network in defence of rights and freedoms of people in Kurdistan & Religious critic based inFinland

YaseenHamaAli: 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 -UniversityofSulaymania-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 journalMarea,Italy

Jaza Hamasalih Wali: Social researcher-Kurdistan

Salah Fathollah: Artist-Finland

Sarkawt Ahmad:UK

Salah Kermashani: Finalnd

AramHawrami: 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 SolidaritéIrak-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


Muhammed Rash:Kurdistan

Dillan zandy:Kurdistan

Farman Sadiq: Journalist-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

Katha Pollitt, The Nation


  1. John the Drunkard says

    Another look into the real Heart of Darkness.

    How do basic human decency and the most natural bonds of family and community vanish under the yoke of ‘culture’ (i.e. religion)?

    Here, writ large, is the same blindness to evil that we see, writ small, in our local internet trolls and blog-yobs.

  2. Susan Moffat says

    This brings shame on the whole of Kurdistan and the Kurdish community. A culture of poetry and music and colour and art is devastated by these events and its lack of value for its beautiful sisters mothers wives and daughters. Where is the Lion of Kurdistan when its Lionesses are destroyed. It will bring about your own demise and destruction.

  3. Jeremy Cunningham says

    An appalling travesty

    I urge the Kurdish people and their autonomous government to respect the human rights of all.

    The notion that a woman can be guilty of a rape is absurd

  4. says

    Excellent feedback, i really love this site 72PJELRSET, i am blissful to bookmarked and inform it to my good friend, thanks in your sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *