To add your organization or individual name to the list of signatories, email madre@madre.org.

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

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

Radhika Balakrishnan
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
USA

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

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

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

Isabelle Geuskens
IFOR-Women Peacemakers Program
Netherlands/International

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

Juliet Were Oguttu
Isis-WICCE
Uganda/International

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

Yifat Susskind
MADRE
International

Andrea Smith
Incite! Women of Color Against Violence
USA

Individuals

Amanda Weibel
Switzerland

Brian Heilman
USA

Sarah Masters
UK

Zaynab Nawaz
USA

For more information, please visit the MADRE website