In Kurdistan Region, another Victim of ‘Honor Killing’

14/01/2013 RUDAW – By SORAN BAHADEEN – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A 23-year-old mother of two in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region was murdered by her husband on suspicion of an illicit relationship with another man, her family said, as police reported they had six suspects.

Jihan Muhammad Jafar was found dead in the district of Bahrka, close to her grandparents’ house. She was killed on New Year’s Day after her husband made her believe he was taking her out on a date.

Major Jilamo Abdulqadir, director of an interior ministry department in Erbil that investigates violence against women, told Rudaw, “An arrest warrant for six people has been issued for killing Jafar. So far, three people have been arrested, including two of her brothers and her nephew.” Women in the Kurdistan Region are often victims of domestic violence and so-called “honor killings,” where a relative kills a female family member who is believed to have sullied the family honor, usually through pre-marital relations with a man.

Bafreen Ismaeel, Jafar’s mother, said her daughter was killed by her husband, who suspected her of a relationship with one of his friends. She said the husband’s family had reported Jafar to the police. She was arrested and held for 10 days, but then freed after a physical examination showed nothing and investigations showed she had never even spoken on the phone with her alleged lover. Abdulqadir said that Jafar was returned to her parents because they promised to protect her. “Without the court’s consent, they handed her back to her husband. What they did was ignorant and illegal,” he said.

Ishmaeel said she had told Jafar’s husband to divorce her if he did not want her, but he had gathered his own relatives and announced his intention of killing her.

“Two days before she was killed, Jafar and her husband went to Koya. On the way, her husband told her he would neither kill her nor divorce her, but that he wanted to start a new life with her.” Ismaeel said, “So, they planned to go out together for New Year’s Day.”“When she was getting ready to go out on New Year’s Day, I felt something was not right.  I begged her not to go out with him, but she didn’t listen to me,” Ishmaeel said. “Jafar was always saying even if he kills her, she would still go and see her husband. She loved him a lot,” Ishmaeel said. “Her phone went off after 11 am. After two hours, her husband sent us a message that he had killed her.”