Women’s Right Activist Beheaded in Iraqi Kurdistan

Nahla Hussain, a women’s rights activist and the leader of the women’s league of the Kurdish Communist Party and mother of two children, was beheaded at her house in Kirkuk, in north of Iraq. She was alone in the house at the time of her death. According to the police some unidentified men entered her house on Thursday night, but the circumstances that led to the attack are unknown.

However, violence against women who do not observe Islamic laws and dress code has become a common phenomenon in Iraq. Women’s rights activists, secularists and communists are under constant threats by different reactionary factions, including the Islamists.

In the context of Iraqi society, “the circumstances that led to her death” are quite well known. Under the rule of nationalist parties in Kurdistan the violence against women has risen dramatically. Just recently the Sharia law became the governing law in Kurdistan. Moreover, since American led attack on Iraq, which unleashed Islamic and tribal terrorism, women have become victims of brutal violence and terrorism. Nahla Hussain was brutally murdered because of her convictions and political activities; this is a well-known fact. She was the victim of misogyny and reactionary forces.

This brutal murder must be condemned by all women’s rights, freedom loving and progressive organisations. We must vigorously demand the arrest and punishment of these murderers by the government of Iraqi Kurdistan. This reactionary government by creating a de facto Islamic state and co-operating with the Islamic forces and exercising tribal and Islamic laws has created a safe heaven for the Islamists and forces of reaction. Women have become the main targets of these forces. These are the conditions that have led to Nahla Hussain’s brutal murder and murder and maiming of hundreds of other women. We should try to put an end to these bloody and inhuman conditions in Iraq.

20 December, 2008

Azar Majedi is President of Organisation for Women’s Liberation-Iran and
a member of the coordination committee of the European Feminist Initiative.

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