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International - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

A conference in london to Remember Du'a Khalil

category international | gender and sexuality | event notice author Thursday April 03, 2008 18:37author by Houzan Mahmoud - Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraqauthor email houzan2007 at yahoo dot comauthor phone 07534264481 Report this post to the editors

Conference to Remember Du’a Khalil and denounce Honour Killings globally!

Date: Saturday 12 April, 2008

Time: 5.00-9:00pm

Venue: Room 3D,
University of London Union (ULU)
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HY
Closest underground: Russell Square

A year after the world was stunned by images of a 17 year old girl being stoned to death in Iraqi Kurdistan; an international panel will debate the rise of honour killings, violence against women, gender apartheid and political Islam in Kurdistan/Iraq and the Middle East.


The high profile speakers are women’s rights activists, academics and experts from Kurdistan, Iraq, Iran, Sweden, New Zealand, and Britain and include:

-Dr Sandra Phelps: Head of Sociology Department, Kurdistan University
-Houzan Mahmoud: representative of Organisation Women’s Freedom in Iraq
-Heather Harvey: head of women’s campaign-Amnesty International in UK
-Maryam Namazie: Organisation against Women's Discrimination in Iran
-Maria Hagberg: Cofounder of Network against Honour Killings in Sweden
-Azar Majedi: Chair of Organisation for Women’s Liberation in Iran
Chair: Maria Exall, Communication Workers' Union National Executive in UK

For more information and to confirm your attendance please contact the organiser:
Houzan Mahmoud:
Tel: 07534264481
Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq- Abroad representative

Related Link:
author by Houzan Mahmoudpublication date Wed Apr 09, 2008 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It has been almost a year since teenage girl Du’a Khalil was stoned to death by a baying mob in Iraqi Kurdistan. The 17 year-olds’ “crime” was to have fallen in love with a boy outside the Yazidi tribe and religion. Betrayed by her family, she was dragged to a summary execution in the centre of Bashiqa city where a 2,000-strong mob, including her relatives, cheered as they hurled rocks.

When footages of the barbaric killing were broadcast people around the world were shocked. That was on 7th April 2007 but a year later the situation is even more dangerous for the women and girls of Iraq.

Thousands more, from Basra to Baghdad and through to Kurdistan, have become victims of murder, violence and rape – all backed by laws, tribal customs and religious rules. Each day there are reports of women or girls being murdered by their relatives in the name of “honour”. More than ever they are subject to daily humiliations, are being forced into marriages – sometimes as children, are suffering female genital mutilation and are being driven to suicide.

In Basra just removing a veil can cost a woman her life. Iraqi police report at least 15 women are murdered every month for breaching Islamic dress code. Sharia law is being used to underpin government rule, denying women their most basic human rights.

Du’a was a victim of religious bigotry. According to the Yazidi faith she was only allowed to marry within her own religion and tribe. When it emerged that the boy she’d been dating wasn’t a Yazidi it spelled her death.

But despite extensive evidence, including the boasts of many involved in her stoning, Du’a’s killers have not been brought to justice. Police were among the crowd at her stoning and there have been accusations of the law turning a blind-eye. In a society where men are encouraged to claim ownership of women, crimes like this are becoming the norm.

This brutality must stop.

This can only be achieved through your support in a struggle for unconditional equality and freedom for these women and girls.
Religion is a personal choice and should never be allowed to override our rights and liberties. We must stand up against those who want to subjugate our lives, education and political choices to their religious bigotries.

We will not budge, we will continue to mobilise public opinion against the murder of women and girls in the name of “honour”. We will struggle for the creation of a movement to separate religion from the state and its laws, and for women’s rights.
The horrific crime of honour killings and the stoning of women is a crime we must all denounce. It must be consigned to the past.

Houzan Mahmoud

Abroad Representative of Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq e-mail: Tel: +447534264481

author by pat cpublication date Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is a report on the conference. Full text at the link.

Maria Exall chaired the conference and each speaker’s talk analyzed the issues of gender apartheid, suppression of women’s rights, honor killing and other horrific crimes. There was also discussion of political Islam and its hand in the religious op- pression of women. Everyone on the panel mentioned that governments, in the form of patriarchy, tribal custom or religious law, are responsible. There was a question and answer session in which the attendees actively participated.

At the end, the organizer, Houzan Mahmoud, thanked all the people who attended. She discussed the many letters of solidarity and support she has received from Kurdistan, Iraq, and worldwide, commemorating Du’a and expressing dismay at the brutal practice of honor killing. She added that this was the bright side of Kurdish society and showed that people—men and women—want to end this barbarity and have become active to end these crimes. She proposed that every April 7th be a day to remember Du’a Khalil, and an International Day against Honor Killing.


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author by Kaypublication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 17:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its good to see that the girl will not have died for nothing.

I couldn't sleep last night after viewing these images of her death.

In case anyone does not know what she went through before she died, it took about half an hour for them to kill her. Several grown men punched, stamped on and threw stones on her.

They are clearly recognizable on video, but nothing has happened to them in terms of the law.

The only ones to have done anything are Al Quaeda who killed around 10 Yezidis in retaliation, as Dua had been married to a Sunni Muslim.

May she rest in peace

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