Shocking acts in the name of honour

The Observer reported a shocking story yesterday about an Iraqi teenage girl who was murdered by her father for falling in love with a British soldier. 

17-year-old Rand Abdel-Qader was subjected to an ‘honour’ killing after her family found out that she had developed a friendship with the 22-year-old  British man known to her as Paul.

The Independent follows up this story today by revealing that this is the start of a growing trend in Iraq to subjugate women. The paper suggests that 15 women a month are murdered for breaching Islamic dress codes.

According to the Basra Security Committee in the Observer’s article, Rand Abdel-Qader’s case is the first ‘honour killing’ involving a British soldier but there were 47 such murders in Basra last year and only three convictions. 
Three convictions out of 47 murders is hardly sending the message that such abhorrent acts of violence against women is being taken seriously. 

Much more needs to be done to ensure that these crimes will not be tolerated and will be appropriately investigated and prosecuted.

Amnesty International is calling on the Iraqi authorities to clampdown on ‘honour’ killings as it highlights the story of another young 17-year-old Iraqi girl who was stoned to death for her relationship with a Muslim teenager. You can add your support to this call by taking action here.

Houzan Mahmoud, from the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq has written about honour killings in Iraq, describing it as Iraq’s particular brand of patriarchy.   You can read the full account here on Amnesty’s website.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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