The stories behind Rania's honor killings
ERBIL, March 30 (AKnews) - Details of honor killings and violence against women in Rania and Qala Diza have been revealed in a report from a human rights group, which described the region as "a true hell for women and girls".
'Rania and Qaladiza, Iraq: A True Hell for Women', the latest report from Wadi, a German NGO based in Sulaimaniyah, also said the region is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous places for women in the Middle East.
So far little action seems to have been taken for four murders, one attempted murder, eight self-burnings and five cases of domestic violence reported in just January and February of this year.
Compared to figures from the previous year, violence against women is set to triple this year.
Wadi approached and interviewed the families of three of the murder victims, revealing sad and shocking stories.
In February, Sakar Hamadamin, a 28-year-old school teacher from Sarkapan in Rania, was reportedly shot and killed while sleeping by her father for wanting to marry man deemed unsuitable
A close family relative, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed to Wadi that Sakar's father had received a telephone call from a man in the same tribe who said:
'Hey Hamadamin, you are the only man in the tribe who is controlled by his daughter. How could you listen to your daughter and agree to her marriage to that boy?'
"After this phone call, Sakar's father decided to kill his daughter," the relative said. "And that same night he did."
After turning off the power, Sakar's killer crept into the room she shared with her mother around midnight and shot her.
Sakar's mother claimed to have only seen the back of a stranger leaving the house after the shooting, but Khabat Salh, head of the Womens' Union of Kurdistan's Reparin branch, said Sakar's family had initially indicated that the father was the killer.
Sakar died two days later in hospital but the same anonymous relative told Wadi that Sakar had been able to tell her mother before passing away: 'Ma, it was dad but for God's sake do not confront him with anything'.
After believing that Sakar's father killed her, a protest was organized by WADI, and two other NGOs, in Sulaimaniyah on Women's International Day.
The group continue to monitor the situation, in which authorities were reportedly working to reach a tribal resolution.
Sakar Omer Aziz
WADI also interviewed the family of 22-year-old housewife Sakar Omer Aziz, from Zharawa, who was found dead by her teenage sister, Sawen Omer Aziz. Her nearby five-month-old baby was covered in her blood.
On February 11, Sakar's husband Pishder shot his wife twice, before shooting himself in the neck, blowing his right eye out.
On that day, Sawen was returning from her grandmother's house when decided to visit her sister at around 5 p.m. When her door knocks and phone calls went answered she entered her Sakar's house through the neighbor's gate.
"The house was like a slaughter house," she said. Entering the hall, I couldn't recognize by brother-in-law. [He] was still alive and told me to keep silent and not to inform anyone."
After informing her father and trying to help the husband, she turned to her sister's baby boy.
"The child was in the cradle, which was covered with blood. I was afraid the child was also shot," she said, adding the child was unharmed.
Sakar's father, Omer Aziz, said her problems only began when she married Pishder, a member of the Peshmarga based in Rania, who would often beat her, once using a knife.
"He was always drunk and unconscious. Whenever he had beaten Sakar, he cut his own wrist with a cutter," he said.
Without a shelter or government to turn to, Sakar was trapped with her alcoholic and troubled husband.
Kaban Kamal Omer
On February 9, at just 23 years of age, Kaban Omer was shot by her husband, Nasih Hussein, who claimed to have been cleaning his weapon when it fired accidentally. His wife was shot twice.
Kaban spent considerable time in intensive care in serious condition and had several operations as a result of her injuries.
By Shyamalie Satkunanandan
*The earlier version of the report 'Rania and Qaladiza, Iraq: A True Hell for Women' was published on the Kurdish website and newspaper Awene.
Full coverage of the report can be found on AKnews.