MADRE Statements

MADRE and the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq Denounce Attack on Activist

Posted on: Monday, October 17, 2011


On September 30, Aya Al Lamie, an activist from the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq was detained, kidnapped and tortured for several hours for her involvment in organizing pro-democracy protests in Iraq. In condemnation of such acts of violence, MADRE and the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq submitted the following letter to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Al Talabani.  

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
President Jalal Al Talabani

October 17, 2011

MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization, and the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) are writing to call your attention to the violation of the human rights of Iraqi citizens. We were recently alerted that a young woman activist affiliated with OWFI was illegally detained and tortured last week, as a reprisal for her pro-democracy activism. We deplore the use of such tactics to silence democratic participation and call on the Iraqi government to ensure that all Iraqis are protected.

On September 30, Aya Al Lamie, an OWFI activist who has been involved in organizing pro-democracy protests, was detained and tortured for several hours. Twenty-year-old Aya was taken to a security facility in Jadiriyah-Baghdad and beaten with sticks and cables across her back and arms.

At 5:00 pm, she was released with a warning not to continue her activist activities.
In the days following this attack, Aya has received a number of death threats. As a result, she has been forced to relocate outside of Baghdad.

We condemn the use of torture and violence to attack freedom of speech and peaceful demonstrations. In organizing these protests, Aya exercises internationally recognized human rights that the Iraqi government is legally obligated to uphold, yet she has been detained, kidnapped, tortured and threatened with death.

This is not the first time that activists in Iraq have been faced with violence and death threats.  Over 1,300 people have joined with MADRE and OWFI and signed a petition to denounce these repeated attacks. We call on you to demonstrate your commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights and to ensure the safety of Iraqi citizens.  

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Yifat Susskind                           Yanar Mohammed     
MADRE Executive Director            OWFI President

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