Justice for Nigar Rahim

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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.

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
  • 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
  • Vincent Presumey, FSU departmental secretary in Allier: France.
  • 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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