Open Letter from the Kurdish Women Action Against Honour Killing

Friday, July 25, 2003
Kurdish Women Action against Honour Killing
Western Asia

With each day that passes since the fall of the Baathist regime, further revelations of past atrocities are laid bare for the world to witness. The most notorious crime committed was the Anfal; the genocidal campaign against the Kurds spanned the late 1980s and into the 1990s.

This veritable holocaust involved the gassing of civilians, the destruction of towns and villages, mass deportations, systematic torture and the bulldozing of men, women and children into mass graves, whether dead or alive. Such was the regime's devotion to the etiquette and choreography of genocide!

Yet, there was a further twist to the Baathists orgy of perversion, a course that they travelled along with the assistance of others, namely the sale and export of young Kurdish girls and children into sex slavery.

During the Anfal campaign a number of Kurdish girls were detained by the security forces, sold and then sent to their “new owners” in Egypt. This information is revealed in a document found recently in the Iraqi intelligence and Security headquarters in Kirkuk .

This document, registered as number 1601, is dated 10 December 1989, classified as "top secret express". It is issued by the Director of Intelligence – city of Ta'amim [Kirkuk] and sent to the General Director of Intelligence in Baghdad. It reveals that the Iraqi regime detained a number of Kurds, among them "a group of girls aged between 14 to 29".

The document gives the list of their names and says that they had been dispatched to Egypt to be sex slaves.

The fate of these girls is of immediate concern. Finding them is not only important for them and their families, but also opens up the prospect of finding out more about the fate of the 182.000 other persons arrested during the Anfal and who are still missing. It is with these aims that we urge you to address the following demands:

1. When did the intelligence community, both regionally and globally, first become aware of this “trade”? If, as seems credible, knowledge was long-standing, then why was nothing said or done?

2. More specifically, Al-jamiya Arabiya (The Arab League) needs to be implored to take this issue seriously and to ensure that member states reveal the whole truth about their knowledge of, and possible collaboration with, the Baathist's practice of trafficking sex slaves as part of the Anfal campaign.

3. On the basis of the document mentioned above, the Egyptian government has to be questioned about its knowledge and role in this matter.

4. The Egyptian government must also reveal the truth about the whereabouts of the following women whose names are found in the above mentioned document: Galawej Adel Rahim (12 years old); Chiman Nazim Abas (22 years); Leyla Abas Jawhar (21 years); Lamiah Nazim Omar (19 years); Bahman Shukir Mustafa (26 years); Khurasan Abdulla Tawfiq (20 years); Qadriya Ahmed Ibrahim (17 years); Golmalek Ibrahim Ali (19 years); Khawla Ahmed Fakhradeen (25 years); Esmat Kader Aziz (24 years); Najiba Hassan Ali (18 years); Hasiba Amin Ali (29 years); Shiler Hassan Ali (20 years); Shukriya Rustem Mohammad (27 years); Habiba Hidayat Ibrahim (15 years); Kuwestan Abas Maulud (26 years); Serwa Othman Karam (17 years); Suza Majeed (22 years).

5. If any of these women are found alive, a full series of measures need to be taken, including compensation, psychological and physical therapy, as well as ongoing protection, especially relocation and meaningful refuge.

6. Finally, in order to reveal further information about Anfal, the Coalition forces must release all the documents that they have captured.

We urge all recipients of this letter to consider seriously the points made and to provide a prompt response.

Kurdish Women Action against Honour Killing (KWAHK)