Thursday 8 December 2016

In the name of religion: Iraq's female genocide

Terri Judd in Basra, Iraq

Published 28/04/2008 | 00:00

'It is difficult to describe how terrible it is - how badly we have been pushed back to the middle ages. Women are being denied their most basic rights'
'It is difficult to describe how terrible it is - how badly we have been pushed back to the middle ages. Women are being denied their most basic rights'

At first glance Shawbo Ali Rauf appears to be slumbering on the grass, her pale brown curls framing her face, her summer skirt spread about her. But the awkward position of her limbs and the splattered blood reveal the true horror of the scene.

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The 19-year-old Iraqi was murdered by her own in-laws who took her to a picnic area in Dokan and shot her seven times. Her crime was to have an unknown number on her mobile phone.

Her "honour killing" is just one in a grotesque series emerging from Iraq, where campaigners speak of a "genocide" against women in the name of religion.

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