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SOFA in Iraq: Would you marry your rapist?

Yanar Mohammed, President of the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq ( compares the States of Forces Agreement to forced marriage witha rapist (

The Iraqi penal code has an article which addresses the crime of rape. If the rapist decides to marry the woman whom he raped, there will be no charges against him. This criminal law makes a traumatized raped woman live with a monster who invaded her body and soul, someone who will have legal status to allow a daily rape, but under legal cover after signing the agreement of marriage.

After five years of forced military occupation, after filling hundreds of graveyards and ditches with dead bodies, after terrorizing people physically and imposing a most brutal inquisition-style religious rule, the occupiers seek to legalize their stay by an agreement which "humanizes" the permanent stay of their military bases in Iraq.

They claim to be defending the security of Iraq against terrorism, while in reality they only grant their never-ending economic interests, political control and hegemony over the area. They will always be a source of future military threat on the people of Iraq and the region.

People of Germany, Japan, and South Korea were never able to break loose from that grip; their countries still "host" more than 700 US military bases where the civilians and especially the female population pay the price.

Now that the rapist wants to stay for a lifetime in Iraq, he needs an agreement which makes him the "democratic" loving and friendly husband and father of the house.

A humiliated woman in Iraq usually swallows her pride and pain, and accepts her fate as the wife in such a marriage in order to avoid an "honour-killing" by her male chauvinist relatives.

But, why would a parliament of so called 100% Iraqi representatives compete in order to promote such a marriage which is realized through signing the SOFA agreement? Why would the public Iraqi television preach and brainwash millions over the "patriotic necessity" for the agreement of a so-called withdrawal when it is only legalizing and eternalizing a military occupation.

All the justifications about releasing Iraq from the seventh article of the UN charter2 are hard to believe. Why should Iraqis be punished about Sadam's decision of aggression? And why should the punishment be prolonged while the US military committed an illegal act of aggression against Iraq?

The withdrawal of the troops from Iraq should be unconditional, with no strings attached.

People of Iraq can never sign to an agreement of legalizing the status of US military forces in Iraq.

An anti-women era started with this occupation. Killings of women by Para-military affiliates of the government, writing an anti-women and anti-human constitution of the middle ages, and series of needless military and Para-military clashes were all immediate consequences of this occupation. They all happened under the eyes of the US and British military occupation.

The SOFA signature is against the interest of the people and women of Iraq and will be repealed once there is direct representation of people in their government, and not an ethno-religious rule which is appointed by the occupation forces through sham elections.

Long live the people of Iraq, free from all military, political, and religious aggression!

Long live freedom and equality!

Yanar Mohammed
President, Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq

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