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A Public Statement by Justice for Dunya’s campaign!

According to KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) and media reports from Iraqi Kurdistan, Dunya’s murderer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Dunya was a 15-year-old child bride who was brutally executed by her 45-year-old polygamist husband in Iraqi Kurdistan – Kalakji region on 23rd of May 2014.

While we welcome the conviction, it also acknowledges that this punishment is a diminished verdict and not justified for such a highly brutal crime. What is more degrading is that this light penalty was a result of a  tribal conciliation agreed between the perpetrator’s family and Dunya’s parents  which was facilitated by a Kurdistan Parliament member!

Even though we consider this conviction altogether an achievement, which is also a result of all the people who campaigned and lobbied for ’Justice for Dunya’, we still have the following concerns regarding the handling of this incident by the KRG:

–        It is outrageous that an MP facilitates a deal which causes a reduced sentence for a criminal and undermines the law of Kurdistan. This MP, who has the power and the ability to go around laws and be responsible to defend crimes and criminals, should not hold an official place as a parliament member or any official position. We call for his resignation or disqualification.

–        It is of great concern that Dunya’s parents were considered decision makers;  they are considered criminals themselves in this case based on marrying their under aged daughter twice,  first at 11 years and again at 12 years of age. Both parents must be held responsible and made to stand trial for breaking the law, committing a crime and accepting money from the perpetrator which led to a reduced sentence.

–        Dunya has siblings who are very young and still under the custody of her criminal parents. They are without any doubt at high risk, considering the negative role of Dunya’s parents and their willingness to accept money from the perpetrator who killed their daughter rather than seeking full justice. These children should be taken away and be protected by social services. Any compensation for Dunya’s murder should be spent on their welfare.

–  The Religious clerics who facilitated Dunya’s marriage must be brought to justice for marrying under age children under the act No 8 anti Domestic Violence law in Iraqi Kurdistan that prohibits child marriages.

–        We call for a ban on any tribal deals and conciliation that takes place over crimes such as this.

Justice for Dunya !

By: Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women Organisation KMEWO

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