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Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq speaks at presentation of research on so-called honour-based violence and killings

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq on 8 February 2022 in Slemani spoke at the launch of the publication of research on so-called honour-based violence and killings, organized by the Civil Development Organization (CDO).

The ceremony was attended by the Governor of Slemani, government officials and international and local human rights organizations.

Speaker Faiq in her speech said, "Each of the terms that we use to describe it - killing, women, honour, excuses, pretexts – converge into one: killing women under the pretext of honor. In the moment between being attacked and dying, the woman realizes that it is the person closest to her – her father, brother, husband or another very close person - who has taken her life.”

She continued, “Now thousands of kilometres away, Kurdish people and society are portrayed as traditional and backward women-murderers, which obscures Kurdistan Region’s bravery compared to other communities in talking about this issue and opening painful wounds.”

The Speaker referred to the late Mam Jalal Talabani’s decision to repeal Article 409 of Law No. 111, the Iraqi Penal Code of 1969. She said, "The leader Mam Jalal Talabani, despite his strong and wide-ranging relationship with tribes, tribal leaders and society’s figures, was not swayed by any of them on the issue of women’s rights and advocacy.”

The Speaker explained the anti-domestic and anti-family violence bill that is going through Parliament currently, to replace the current 2011 domestic violence law. She said that many social and conservative traditions continue that perpetuate so-called honour crimes.

Dr. Faiq said that all sides have a responsibility to prevent and end these crimes. She said, "We in the Kurdistan Parliament have on more than one occasion written officially to women's organizations, the High Council on Women’s Affairs, and the General Directorate of Combating Violence Against Families. We have asked them what changes to the law they want to see or what laws should be passed, but so far we have not received anything about so-called honour killings, nor have members of Parliament proposed any legislation on this issue."

On the independence of the judiciary and the role of judges, prosecutors, investigators and police stations, Speaker Faiq called on them to take the threats against women seriously, have a different mindset about the cases that come before them and fulfil their responsibilities.

The Parliament Speaker said that speeches made at ceremonies and on official occasions must be translated into real and effective action and implementation.

Dr. Faiq commended the organizers and researchers for their work and asked them to give it to Parliament and other relevant institutions to inform those working on laws or amendments.