Iraq must do more for Daesh sex abuse victims: UN

Women and children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, on August 14, 2014. (File Photo by Reuters)
Updated 22 August 2017
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Iraq must do more for Daesh sex abuse victims: UN

GENEVA, Switzerland: Iraq must do more to ensure that thousands of women and girls who survived sexual violence by Daesh group jihadists receive care, protection and justice, the UN said Tuesday.
In a fresh report, the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN rights office also warned that the children born as a result of the sexual violence risked facing a lifetime of discrimination and abuse.
“The physical, mental and emotional injuries inflicted by (Daesh) are almost beyond comprehension,” UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement.
“If victims are to rebuild their lives, and indeed those of their children, they need justice and they need redress,” he insisted.
Tuesday’s report pointed to the horrific abuse suffered by women and girls, especially from the Yazidi minority, in Daesh-controlled areas, including rape, abduction, slavery and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.
In 2014, Daesh jihadists massacred Yazidis in Sinjar, forcing tens of thousands of them to flee, and capturing thousands of girls and women as spoils of war to be used as sex slaves.
The women were sold and traded across the jihadists’ self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq. Around 3,000 are believed to remain in captivity.
The UN report stressed that Baghdad was responsible under domestic and international law to prosecute the perpetrators and help ensure reparations for the victims.
It decried “gaps” in Iraq’s criminal justice system, “which largely fails to ensure the appropriate respect and protection of women and children who have been subjected to sexual and other forms of violence.”
It also warned that women who were married to Daesh fighters, with or without their consent, risked “discrimination and forms of collective punishment” based on the suspicion they cooperated with the group.
The report raised particular concerns over the situation of hundreds of children born to women in Daesh-controlled areas without birth certificates or with Daesh-issued documents not accepted by Baghdad.
“The government must ensure (these children) are protected from marginalization and abuse,” Zeid insisted.
He urged Baghdad to ensure that these children are “neither exposed to discrimination through references on their birth certificate that they were born out of wedlock or have a father linked to (Daesh), nor left unregistered and at risk of statelessness, exploitation and trafficking,” he said.


Turkish opposition accused of insulting Erdogan via cartoons

Updated 18 July 2018
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Turkish opposition accused of insulting Erdogan via cartoons

  • Insulting the president is a crime punishable by up to four years in prison in Turkey
  • Erdogan filed close to 2,000 lawsuits against people for alleged insults

ANKARA: Turkey’s state-run news agency says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed complaints against the main opposition party leader and 72 legislators accusing them of insults for posting and sharing a cartoon on social media that depicts him as a variety of different animals.
Anadolu Agency said complaints were filed Wednesday against Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who posted the cartoon on Twitter, and other officials who shared it in support of four university students arrested for holding up a poster of the same caricature during their graduation ceremony.
Insulting the president is a crime punishable by up to four years in prison in Turkey.
Erdogan filed close to 2,000 lawsuits against people for alleged insults, dropping many following a failed military coup in 2016 as a goodwill gesture, but filing many others since.