From the Women of Iraq

This landed in my inbox this morning and I decided it must get out there.

Dear Friends

It feels as if the damage done to Iraq is repairable at this point. No
“Study Group Report” can have an answer. The arms of the clock cannot go
backwards. Our losses can hardly be compensated anymore. Nevertheless, we
find ourselves fighting for survival and trying to claim the life we
I have attached our OWFI report of what happens to women in Iraq now.
Please let the outer world know what we go through.

Yanar Mohammed
Darkest Scenario for Women of Iraq
OWFI report on violations against women Dec 2006

Public executions of women by Islamist militias in Baghdad

Shia Militias: a new wave of public executions against women is
undertaken by Al Mahdi army. Dragging, flogging, hanging and shootings fall
within the routine procedure of these executions which are taking place in
growing numbers. In a Shia part of Baghdad, a sector which includes Nuwab Al
Thubat and Al Amin, 3 girls were killed in one week ­second week of
On Thursday November 9, one of these executions was witnessed by an OWFI
activist who was assigned to go and investigat the previous killing of two
girls. While passing in Nuwab Al Thubat, pedestrians were surprised to hear
a young woman screaming in that area. She was pulled by armed members of Al
Mahdi militia, beaten badly in front of all. She was dragged by a wire wound
around her neck to a close-by football field and then hung to the goal post.
They pierced all her body with bullets. Her brother came running trying to
defend his sister. He was also shot and killed.
Al Mahdi Shia militia guards – many of whom work as policemen ­
volunteer to punish ³adulterer² women by torture and public execution.
Although the Shia clerics have legalized Mutaa (pleasure) temporary
marriages, most of the women who practice it are subject to honour-killing
at the hand of their male relatives or the volunteering Al Mahdi Militia.
Sunni Militias: kill both women and men who practice some suspected
behavior. If a young man stares at a girl or smokes a cigarette, he will be
flogged and maybe killed.
Although honour killing numbers rose considerably after the war,
systemic public executions of women is a new phenomenon. In our estimation,
no less than 30 women are executed monthly for honour related reasons at the
hands of these militias in Baghdad and suburbs.

Truck loads of Sunni families taken by Iraqi military to unknown destiny

Um Muhamad was going to Kadhimiya city in Mid November using public
transportation when an Iraqi military checkpoint stopped them and began to
check the men¹s id¹s. They took the Sunni men, their wives and children. Um
Muhamad was scared to look at the army truck which took a full load to an
unknown destiny, but she noticed from the side of her eye that their hands
were tied. After Sunnis were taken, and the vehicle moved, she whispered to
the person sitting next to her: ³I told them I am a Shia, although I am a
SunniŠ I did not want to be taken.²
Sectarian motivated mass execution result in dumping the shot and
sometimes tortured bodies in a close-by dump yard in their neighborhoods.
This practice has become routine practice by Islamist militias from both

150 unclaimed women¹s corpses in Baghdad morgue in the first ten days of

OWFI activists pretended they were looking for a lost female relative in
Baghdad morgue on November 12. The employee in charge told them they were
late because the morgue got rid of more than 150 unclaimed dead bodies of
women, many of which were beheaded, disfigured or bore signs of extreme
torture. These bodies were accumulated during the recent ten days and were
impossible to keep anymore as they are left in room temperature or thrown in
the terraces outside. With the return to tribalism under the current
situation, a family will not admit to a kidnapped daughter as it ³smears²
the honour of the family. Therefore, when the women get raped and killed,
nobody is claiming the body afterwards.
If this toll of killed women (15women)/day does not rise, it means that
5500 Iraqi women will be killed in this coming year. Reasons of killings are
mixed, but mostly for sectarian retaliation.

Poets attacked and killed by Sunni militia in Baghdad suburb, Al Madaen

Sunni Islamist militias have turned their sectors and neighborhoods into
a Taliban life-style in ways which are totally alien to Iraqi cities.

On Nov. 23rd, a Sunni Militia gang attacked a house where poets were
meeting in a Sunni suburb of Baghdad, Al Madaen. In this attack, a prominent
poet and a friend of OWFI, Mr. Ayman Al Salmawie and his brother were killed
while the others were wounded. Ayman stands second from left in the OWFI
poetry event ³Freedom Space 2².

³This house practices prostitution², a prototype posting by Islamist
militias in Baghdad

If the house does not get emptied immediately, the women get killed, the
house is burnt, and family devastated. In most cases, the posting is a
result of cross-sectarian retaliation.

Al Mousawat Media Center
Dec 7, 2006

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