Fathers and husbands in Iraq can hire killers for honor with impunity, since the authorities routinely look the other way when a man has his wife or daughter killed for sullying the so-called family honor.
Authorities in the southern Iraqi city of Basra have admitted they are powerless to prevent ‘honour killings’ in the city following a 70 per cent increase in religious murders during the past year.
There has been no improvement in conviction rates for these killings. So far this year, 81 women in the city have been murdered for allegedly bringing shame on their families. Only five people have been convicted.
During 2007 the Basra security committee recorded 47 ‘honour killings’ and three convictions. One lawyer in the city described how police were actively protecting perpetrators and said that a woman in Basra could now be murdered by hired hitmen for as little as $100 (£65).
The figures come despite international outrage which followed The Observer’s coverage of the death of 17-year-old Rand Abdel-Qader, who was murdered by her father last April in an ‘honour killing’ after falling in love with a British soldier in Basra. The 4,000 British troops stationed in the city since the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003 withdrew to the airport last September.
Rand Abdel-Qader was killed after her family discovered that she had formed a friendship with a 22-year-old infantryman whom she knew as Paul. She was suffocated by her father then hacked at with a knife. Abdel-Qader Ali was subsequently arrested and released without charge.
Rand’s mother, Leila Hussein, who divorced her husband after the killing, went into hiding but was tracked down weeks later and assassinated by an unknown gunman. Her husband had told The Observer that police had congratulated him for killing his daughter.
Seven months after the murders, the problem of these killings in Basra has become worse, according to lawyers. Ali Azize Raja’a, an Iraqi prosecutor who has represented the victims of 32 ‘honour killings’ since 2004, said that, despite accumulating sufficient evidence to prove who was responsible in each murder, he had won only one case.
He said that the greatest issue was the decision by police to release suspects. Seven in 10 of those thought to be responsible for such a killing have left the city, with little attempt made to track them down.
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Gee what a mindblowing revelation, muslims are covering for muslims when they commit these heinous crimes. Yeah, never saw that one coming…
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