Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nouri's Iraq: Child brides and 555 violent deaths for the month so far

Saturday, March 8th, Iraqi women took to the streets of Baghdad to protest a bill Nouri al-Maliki forwarded to Parliament which would allow the age of girls to be married off to drop to 8 (if you can be divorced at 9, you can marry at 8), would strip mothers of custodial rights (but not fathers), would legalized marital rape and much more.

AFP's Ammar Karim discovers the bill today.  Among those carrying the report are the Saudi Gazette, Globa Post, Australia's Herald Sun,  and Times-Live.  The number carrying the AFP report will grow.   Friday, the Associated Press' Sameer N. Yacoub and Sinan Salaheddin provided a lengthy report ("Also under the proposed measure, a husband can have sex with his wife regardless of her consent. The bill also prevents women from leaving the house without their husband's permission, would restrict women's rights in matters of parental custody after divorce and make it easier for men to take multiple wives.") and it was carried by numerous outlets including Huffington Post, The Australian, The Daily Beast, WA Today,  Savannah Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, News 24, Daily Inter Lake, the Scotland Herald, Sydney Morning Herald, Singapore Today, the Irish Independent, The Scotsman, Lebanon's Daily Star, The Belfast Telegraph and Canada's CBC.  UPI covers the issue by noting Felicity Arbuthnot's article from earlier in the week.

Karim notes:

Critics point in particular to a clause of Article 147 in the bill which allows for girls to divorce at the age of nine, meaning they could conceivably marry even earlier, and another article which would require a wife to have sex with her husband whenever he demands.
Other clauses have been ridiculed for their specificity, from the conditions under which mothers must breastfeed their children to how many nights a polygamous man must spend with each wife and how he may use additional nights.

Alexandra Sifferlin (Time magazine) also reports on the bill:

“It’s a provocative act that’s gotten a lot of attention, and blatantly violates Iraq’s constitution,” Erin Evers, an Iraq researcher based in Baghdad for Human Rights Watch, said in an interview.
The law, called The Jaafari Personal Status Law, still hasn’t been approved by Iraq’s parliament, and likely won’t be until after April’s elections, the Associated Press reports. Based on a school of Islamic law, it was introduced last year and unexpectedly approved last month by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“I certainly haven’t heard anyone defend it except the minister who introduced it,” said Evers. “But I never thought it would get as far as it did.” She calls the bill, which stoked protests in Baghdad on March 8, International Women’s Day, a major step back for women’s rights and the country as a whole. 

Last week, Human Rights Watch offered "Iraq: Don’t Legalize Marriage for 9-Year-Olds."

Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count notes 555 violent deaths in the month so far.

National Iraqi News Agency reports Joint Operations Command announced they killed 17 suspects in Falluja, Joint Operations Command also announced they believe they killed Qusay Anbari whom they believe recruits suicide bombers, two border guards were injured "near the Iraqi-Syrian border," a Mahmudiya car bombing left 1 person dead and five more injured, 2 Hilla car bombings left five people injured, a Mosul battle left 2 police members injured, the Ministry of the Interior's Saad Maan declared 4 car bombings "in the provinces of Bablyon and Wasit" left 12 people dead, Bablyon Governor Sadeq al-Sultani declared 2 people were killed and six injured in 3 Babylon car bombings, a Bab Baghdad car bombing left 4 people dead and thirteen injured, a Wajihiya sticky bombing left 1 city council member dead, a Ramadi battle left 4 Iraqi soldiers dead, a battle "east of Fallujah" left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead (one more injured) and 3 rebels killed, Joint Operations Command announced they killed 1 suspect in Mosul,  a western Baghdad (al-Ghazaliya) car bombing killed 1 person and left four people injured, 2 Kut car bombings left six people injured, and a Heet car bombing late yesterday left two Iraqi soldiers injured.

The following community sites -- plus Black Agenda Report, Pacifica Evening News and KPFK -- updated:

  • Marcia, Ann, Ava and I wrote:

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