MADRE's Executive Director Yifat Susskind and Yanar Mohammed, the Executive Director of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), have written this letter to Iraqi officials in response to the kidnapping and torture of youth activist, Alaa Nabil. To download a PDF of this letter, please click here

Over the past 12 days, peaceful protests in Syria have been faced with violence. The blood of too many people was spilled and others were arrested and beaten by security forces. As long as this violence goes on, the Syrian government’s legitimacy will diminish by the day both in the eyes of the Syrian people as in the eyes of the international community.

في ظل الأحداث التي تشهدها سورية في الأسابيع الأخيرة، بدأ خطر العنف يتجلى في أبشع صوره، سواء الممارس منه عمليا من قبل البعض، أو الذي يجري التهديد به من قبل البعض الآخر. وبعيدا عن الأهداف التي يسعى إليها الأشخاص والأطراف المختلفة، يهم "مرصد نساء سورية"، انسجاما مع شعاره: "من أجل مجتمع خال من العنف والتمييز"، أن يدين العنف الممارس (من قبل بعض أجهزة الدولة وبعض المحتجين)، والمهدد بممارسته (من قبل بعض من ادعى أنه يمثل "قبيلة" ما كما لو أنه يعيش زمن القبائل!) بصفته سلوكا همجيا يتناقض كليا مع منطق المواطنة، ومنطق الدولة الحديثة، ومنطق الحرية والديمقراطية، وأي منطق إنساني آخر. وهو سلوك لا يؤدي إلا إلى المزيد من العنف والدمار على كافة الصعد. ولن يكون له إلا آثارا مدمرة على الجميع، وخطوة كبيرة إلى الوراء!

During the events of the past few weeks, violence has manifested itself in its ugliest forms, as practiced by some and threatened by others. Putting aside the aims of the various factions involved, the SWO, in keeping with its commitment to its motto “For a Society Free of Violence and Discrimination,” condemns the use of violence by state forces and protestors alike, as well as the threats of violence by some who claim to be representing a “tribe” (as if we are living in a tribal era!). The SWO considers this to be barbaric behavior that utterly contradicts with the notions of citizenship, modern statehood,  freedom, democracy, and all other humanist practices. Such behavior only begets more violence, leading to destructive consequences for the entire society. Its continuation would be a big step backwards for Syria.

Marking International Women’s Month and 8 years since the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq (March 2003), the UK based group of Iraqi and non-Iraqi women Act Together - Women’s Action for Iraq held a talk on 22 March at SOAS on women and violence in Iraq today. Professor Nadje Al-Ali and Dr Nicola Pratt presented some of the latest research findings on gender-based violence and the issues women are facing in Iraq at present. With the numbers of civilians who have lost their lives since the war begun still being contested, they both feel the need to draw attention to the human side of the story behind these numbers, especially when it comes to women’s experiences and ordeals, nowadays seldom reported and studied.

أفادت مصادر عديدة إلى استمرار حملة الاعتقالات التي استأنفتها أجهزة الأمن والمخابرات السورية الأسبوع المنصرم على خلفية مظاهرات الحرية. فقد أفاد عدة شهود عيان وأقارب في مضايا بريف دمشق إلى اعتقال المواطنين التالية أسمائهم على يد مخابرات أمن الدولة يوم الجمعة 18/3/2011: إبراهيم محمود (25 سنة) وقد تعرض للضرب العنيف قبل اعتقاله، خالد سليمان (19 سنة)، حسان محمود (22 سنة)، محمود الحاج، علي عساف (26 سنة)، محمد محرز (24 سنة)، عبد الرحمن محرز (21 سنة)، أحمد ناصيف (36 سنة)، إياد ناصيف (23 سنة) وقد أصيب بجروح بالغة، معاذ ناصيف (19 سنة)، زكريا ناصيف (23 سنة)، واثنان من أسرة الحبش. وقد قامت مخابرات أمن الدولة بمداهمة العديد من المنازل في مضايا وتفتيشها.

 دانت اللجنة التنظيمية للثورة الشبابية الشعبية بصنعاء المجزرة التي ارتكبها اليوم علي عبد الله صالح ونظامه بحق المعتصمين المطالبين بإسقاط النظام سلميا في ميدان التغيير بصنعاء ، والتي راح ضحيتها أكثر من أربعين شهيد ، و200 جريح 

In what ways are women participating in the protests in Yemen? The leading force behind this movement are the students from Sana’a University. They are gathered in Al-Huriya Square (Freedom Square) in front of the University. Women and women’s organisations are participating in the demonstrations and supporting the demonstrators, they stay until late at night in Freedom Square. In general, the students are protecting the women who are demonstrating on the square. Women are not generally targeted by the security forces in the repression of the protests because there would be an outcry. One woman demonstrator was arrested and imprisoned a couple of weeks ago, but she was released after one night, because we protested. 

On Tuesday four people were killed during a women's protest march against Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo. Last week, another all-women march through the capital Abidjan, in support of the internationally recognised president of the country, was directly fired upon by troops loyal to Gbagbo and seven women peacefully exercising their democratic right of public assembly were killed.

لَقِّم المحتوى