Demonstration against release of honor killing suspect

By Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken: WADI GERMANY 

No justice for Sakar HamadaminLast year, the honor killing of 28-year-old Sarkar led to an uproar by rights organisations against domestic violence in Iraqi Kurdistan. Strong evidence suggested that her own father had committed the crime. Nevertheless, the penal court in Suleymania has now decided to release the father. Members of WOLA and WADI held a demonstration against this decision in front of the courthouse in Suleymania on Monday.

In February 2012, Sakar Hamadamin, a school teacher from Sarkapan in Rania, was reportedly shot and killed by her father for wanting to marry a man deemed unsuitable. A close family relative, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed to Wadi that, before her death, Sakar’s father had received a telephone call from a man in the same tribe who said: ‘Hey Hamadamin, you are the only man in the tribe who is controlled by his daughter. How could you listen to your daughter and agree to her marriage to that boy?’ The relative added,”After this phone call, Sakar’s father decided to kill his daughter. And that same night he did.”

After turning off the power at around midnight, Sakar’s killer crept into the room she shared with her mother and shot her as she slept. Sakar’s mother said she had only seen the back of a stranger, but Khabat Salh, head of the Womens’ Union of Kurdistan’s Reparin branch, said Sakar’s family had initially indicated that the father was the killer. Sakar died two days later in hospital but the same anonymous relative told Wadi that Sakar had been able to tell her mother before passing away: “Ma, it was dad but for God’s sake do not confront him with anything”.

In response WADI, Women’s Legal Assistance, People’s Development Association and other local NGOs founded Zyan group. Last March, Zyan group organized a protest in Sulaimaniyah on Women’s International Day calling for strong punishment of honor killings with a special focus on the regions of Rania and Pshdar, where the rate of crimes against women is the highest of the Kurdish Region.