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Women from Around the World Condemn Attack on Peaceful Protesters in Iraq and Call for an End to Sexual Assault of Women Protesters

Publication Date: 
July 18, 2011

The global campaign Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) joins our sisters at MADRE and feminist activists around the world in calling for full security of our sisters and brothers in Bagdhad's Tahrir Square, protesting peacefully for basic rights.

We, feminist activists from around the world, stand in support of our sisters and brothers peacefully demonstrating for basic rights in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.

This morning, June 10, demonstrators were brutally targeted with sexual violence and beatings by men who were reportedly bussed in by the thousands to disrupt the weekly protest. Protesters suffered broken bones, knife wounds and beatings. Several women were severely beaten and violently groped; armed attackers attempted to forcibly strip off the women’s clothing. The activists, who work with the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, report that their attackers were organized and paid by government security forces who used the un-uniformed men to avoid accountability for the violence.  

As feminists, we strongly condemn assaults against peaceful protesters and the specifically gender-based violence against women. As in so many of our countries, the use of sexual violence against Iraqi women is designed to terrorize, shame and silence those women who dare to exercise their fundamental rights as citizens and raise political demands in the public sphere.  We stand with our sisters who exercise their rights to political participation and dissent.

Today’s attacks represent a noted escalation of violence against protesters in Iraq as well as a crime and a fundamental violation of human rights. We call on the government to uphold its obligations to guarantee freedom of peaceful assembly and to respond to the demands of demonstrators.

 

 

SIGNATORIES

 

Organizations

Ain o Salish Kendra

India Women's Watch

INFORM
Sri Lanka

International Solidarity Network – Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)

Interreligious Committee in Support of Protected Persons in Ashraf, Iraq (ICSPPAI)
US

 

Isis International

Leicester Branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

 

National Alliance of Women (NAWO India)

The Network Against Honour Related Violence
Sweden

South Asia Women's Watch

United Methodist Women

 

WIDE - Globalising Gender Equality and Social Justice

The Women and Media Collective
Sri Lanka

Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC)

 

Women Graduates-USA

Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights

The Women's Support Group
Sri Lanka

World March of Women


Individuals Representing Organizations


Christine Ahn
Global Fund for Women
USA

Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas
Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling
Palestine

Jo Albright
Maryknoll Missionaries

Sally Alhak
EWU - Egyptian Women's Union

Lydia Alpízar Durán
Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)

Ghida Anani
ABAAD-Resource Center for Gender Equality
Lebanon

Edna Aquino
Violence is Not Our Culture Campaign

Soad Baba Aissa
IFE France
France


Radhika Balakrishnan
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
USA

Bonita Banducci
Global Women's Leadership Network, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
USA

Aouicha Bekhti
Party for Laicity and Democracy in Algeria

Fewzi Benhabib
Party for Laicity and Democracy in Algeria

Medea Benjamin
CODEPINK: Women for Peace

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
femLINKPACIFIC

Betty Blake
Ma'afafine moe Famili
Tonga

Shahnaz Bokhari
Progressive Women's Association-PWA
Pakistan

Maria Butler
PeaceWomen, A project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
USA

Adilia Caravaca
Liga Internacional de Mujeres pro Paz y Libertad, Seccion Costa Rica

Moulay Chentouf
Party for Laicity and Democracy in Algeria
 

Ottilia Chikosha
Regional Export Promotion Women's Trust
Zimbabwe 

Rindai Chipfunde-Vava
Zimbabwe Election Support Network & Zimbabwe Peace Project
Zimbabwe

Sarah El Jabri
OISC 

Carole R. Fontaine, Ph.D.
Women Against Fundamentalism (L'integrisme) and for Equality (WAFE)
France

Patricia Guerrero
Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas
Observatory for Gender, Democracy and Human Rights
Colombia

Isabelle Geuskens
IFOR-Women Peacemakers Program
Netherlands/International

Helen Hakena
Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency

Lillian Halls
European Feminist Initiative (IFE-EFI)
France

Cristina Hardaga
Tlalchinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain of Guerrero
Mexico

Taida Horozovic
CURE Foundation
Bosnia & Herzegovina

Lindora Howard-Diawara
West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Liberia)
Liberia

Hisako Motoyama
Asia Japan Women’s Resource Center
Japan

Jasmin Nario-Galace
Center for Peace Education
Philippines

Sameena Nazir Potohar
Organization for Development Advocacy
Pakistan

Juliet Were Oguttu
Isis-WICCE
Uganda/International

Pat Pleasance
UK WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)
UK
 

Dianne Post
Phoenix Women Take Back the Night
USA

Elly Pradervand
Women's World Summit Fondation WWSF
Switzerland

Mahnaz Rahman
Aurat Publication Information Service Foundation
Pakistan

Yifat Susskind
MADRE
International

Andrea Smith
Incite! Women of Color Against Violence
USA

Josephine Teakeni

Vois Blong Mere Solomons 

Lyda Verstegen
International Alliance of Women

Albin Wagener
OISC

Individuals

Jihane Abbassi

Sunila Abeysekera
Sri Lanka

Kirsten Ainley
UK

Janella Baxter

Bonnie Berry

USA

Charlotte Browne
Great Britain

Parker Brown-Nesbit
USA

Lasta Drvar

Meredith Eudovic

Canada

Heather Frederick
Turkey

Altaire Gural
Canada

Amy Hailwood

USA

Kimberly Hanson
USA

Brian Heilman
USA

Krista Hoffman

Rea Howarth

Lib Hutchby
USA

Sholeh Irani
Sweden

 Huda Jafar
Yemen

Lee Kanthoul
USA 

Greg King
USA

Jean Kathleen Laurila
USA
 

Stephan L'Heureux
Japan

Dr. Helen Liebling
Lecturer-Practitioner in Clinical Psychology, Coventry University and Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust

Amina Mama
USA

 Sarah Masters
UK

Marti McKenna
USA

Pooja Mittal
USA

Rebecca Mills

 Lorraine Mirham
UK

Margaret Morley
USA

Monica Murray

Layla Naffa Hamarneh
Jordan

Shahin Navai
 

Zaynab Nawaz
USA

Justine Nkurunziza
Burundi

Rosalind Petchesky
US

Bonnie Pirnie
USA

Eric Tyler Powell

Brooke Prim 

Eleanor Rae
USA

Swathi Rajan
USA

Denise Romesburg
USA

Kimberly Short

Erika Smith
Mexico

Muriel Smith
Canada

Viti Tuimabualau-Lilo
SUVA, FIJI

Most Udruzenje

Fern M. Van Gieson

Carrie Walker

USA

Amanda Weibel
Switzerland

Sarah Weirich
USA
 

Amy Wilkes

Laura Williscraft
Canada

Leah Wilson
USA

Source: MADRE

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