Executing Du'a Khalil's killers is not justice, but a violation of human rights
Posted on: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Statement by MADRE partner organization Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), Representative Abroad, Houzan Mahmoud.
According to official sources at Ninawa Criminal Court, the four people charged with the stoning of Du'a Khalil Aswad on 7 April 2007 have been sentenced to death. The decision was made on 27 March, just three weeks before the third anniversary of Du'as murder.
It is reported that two of the convicted men are Du'a's brothers. Du'a was stoned to death in front of almost 2,000 men; with Iraqi police maintaining "law and order" while the stoning took place. The authorities knew about the atrocity, but did not prevent it.
The International Campaign against the Killing and Stoning of Women in Kurdistan has campaigned tirelessly for the killers to be brought to justice. Our campaign was the first to expose Du'a's murder, and brought great pressure to bear on the Iraqi government and Kurdistan regional government through demonstrations, seminars, conferences and a petition to the Kurdish parliament signed by 16,000 people across the world. We demanded not only the bringing of Du'a's killers to justice, but an end to so-called 'crimes of honour'.
But the decision to execute the killers is no justice and not what we want.
Capital punishment is the most horrendous form of punishment. We oppose capital punishment as a form of so-called justice; it will not end honour killings, but only make our society more brutal and violent, conditioning people to accept killing.
We do not want to go back to the dark days of the Ba'athist regime, when capital punishment was used to silence people and keep them terrorised. Our society has had enough of violence, terror and oppression. The Ba'ath regime brought back 'honour killings' in the late 80s, allowing men to protect their so-called family honour by murdering women. For decades under both Saddam's dictatorship and the rule of Kurdish government in the north, society has been pushed backward, with anti-women values and norms strengthened and men allowed to carry out violence, killings, rape and brutal discrimination against women.
The current family status law upholds patriarchal, religious and conservative norms which discriminate against women. The government has totally failed to promote equality, women's rights and individual rights and freedoms. They insist on implementing Islamic Sharia law and recognising ethnic, tribal and religious mores instead of a modern civil family law. Our basic problem is a ruling class which divides society on the basis of gender, religion and ethnicity and race. This system constantly reproduces violence against women. But executing four men will not solve the problem.
We urge workers', women's and human rights organisations and activists the world over to condemn capital punishment. Laying the foundations for human rights, women's rights and equality is the only solution.
Archives"Press Releases" Home June 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 September 2013 August 2013 June 2013 March 2013 February 2013 September 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 November 2010 October 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 September 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 January 2009 October 2008 September 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 February 2008 January 2008 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 March 2007 February 2007 December 2006 October 2006 July 2006 June 2006 September 2005 January 2004 August 2001
MADRE & Our Partners Make News
In Iraq, women 'are the battlefield' (Women Under Siege , August 12, 2014)
Haitian woman faces death threats for speaking out about violence against women (WBEZ Worldview, July 16, 2014)
Media Spotlight Turns Away from Iraq, as Concerns Mount Over Human Rights and Political Stalemate (Uprising Radio, July 11, 2014)
Iraq: The women left behind (Aljazeera, July 3, 2014)
Under Isis, Iraqi women again face an old nightmare: violence and repression (The Guardian, July 3, 2014)