Another Chapter in Bringing Democracy to the Middle East

When will action begin to bring the Amerikan administration to the International Court in the Hague on charges of crimes against Humanity?

No Safety for Women in Iraq
By Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily, IPS News. Posted December 15, 2006.

Women face an increased risk of rape and murder by militias and criminal gangs as lawlessness takes over the country.

Nobody is safe. Taysseer Al-Mashadani, the Sunni woman minister from the al-Tawafuq political party was abducted by members of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi army militia July 1 this year. After being held for nearly three months, she was only released after much pressure was applied from both the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

Thousands of other women have not been so lucky. Many have been executed, assaulted, or released only after their families paid considerable ransom money.

Few women like to talk about what they have to go through. “I was taken by Americans for three days recently,” Um Ahmed said in Baghdad. “They told me they would rape me if I didn’t tell them where my husband was, but I really didn’t know.”

She said that she was turned over to the Iraqi National Guard “who were even worse than the Americans.”

Her husband eventually surrendered to the U.S. military, but she continued to be held “to apply pressure on him to confess things he never did,” she said. “They told him they would rape me right in front of him if he did not confess he was a terrorist. They forced me to watch them beat him hard until he told them what they wanted to hear.”

The Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq has estimated from anecdotal evidence that over 2,000 Iraqi women have gone missing in the period from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 until spring 2006.

But numbers are not always reliable here. Thousands of cases of abduction of women are never reported for fear of public disgrace.

Read the rest of it here.

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