Jadaliyya (J): Recent events in Iraq have been rather dramatic. What led to these developments?

On the Occupation of Mosul and the Cities of Western Iraq


The Iraqi society is suffering unprecedented crisis that threatens the future of peaceful co-existence of citizens, and augments genocides and civil conflicts based on the sectarian identities that were established on the Iraqi population, and were strengthened throughout more than a decade of the American occupation to Iraq.

Amid worsening armed violence in Iraq, the Baghdad-based Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq is working to help women who have been harmed and driven out of their homes. The group is reaching out to cities with the largest numbers of women displaced by the fighting.

هذا التقرير يوثّق الإساءة إلى سيدات أثناء الاحتجاز، بناء على مقابلات مع سيدات وفتيات من السنة والشيعة في السجون؛ ومع عائلاتهن ومحاميهن؛ ومع مقدمين للخدمات الطبية في السجون، في توقيت يشهد تصاعد العنف بين قوات الأمن وجماعات مسلحة. قامت هيومن رايتس ووتش أيضاً بمراجعة وثائق محاكم ومعلومات مستفيضة تلقتها في اجتماعات مع سلطات عراقية تشمل مسؤولين من وزارات العدل والداخلية والدفاع وحقوق الإنسان، واثنين من نواب رئيس الوزراء.

شاركت نساء وفتيات عراقيات في مظاهرة بالعاصمة بغداد السبت 8 مارس/ آذار، احتجاجا على مشروع قانون وافقت عليه الحكومة يسمح بزواج الفتيات في سن التاسعة ويمنح حضانة الأبناء تلقائيا للآباء. وجاء الاحتجاج بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للمرأة بعد أسبوع من تصويت الحكومة على قانون الأحوال الشخصية "الجعفري" وإحالته إلى البرلمان. ورفعت المحتجات شعارات بينها "في عيد المرأة العالمي.. نساء العراق في حداد." يذكر أن قانون الأحوال الشخصية "الجعفري" يسمح بإشراف رجال الدين على الأمور المتعلقة بالزواج والطلاق والميراث.

Draft Law Huge Step Back for Women, Girls, says Human Rights Watch 

MARCH 12, 2014

(Baghdad) – Iraq’s Council of Ministers should withdraw a new draft Personal Status Law and ensure that Iraq’s legal framework protects women and girls in line with its international obligations. The pending legislation would restrict women’s rights in matters of inheritance and parental and other rights after divorce, make it easier for men to take multiple wives, and allow girls to be married from age nine.

February 14th 2014

Rumors circulated that a man in his 90s who had married a girl 70 years his junior had died recently in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. This shocking news is only one part of the “uneven marriages” that have become endemic among Iraqis where social traditions and habits are reinforced by tribal authorities and applicable laws. Meanwhile, civil society and human rights organizations stand idly by, failing to intervene to stem the prevalence of such marriages, especially the forced marriage of underage girls.

Main Findings
 
[Trigger warning: details of sexual assault and torture]
 
This report documents abuses to which the criminal justice system subjects women during arrest, interrogation, trial, and imprisonment. Between December 2012 and April 2013, Human Rights Watch interviewed 27 women and 7 girls, Sunni and Shia; their families and lawyers; medical service providers in women’s prisons; civil society representatives; foreign embassy and United Nations staff in Baghdad; Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputyprime ministers. We also reviewed court documents, lawyers’ case files, and government decisions and reports.
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