This past Friday, Interior Ministry Spokesman Saad Maan reported on Twitter the death of 22-year-old Tiba al-Ali, who was killed by her father on the 31st of January in the Diwaniya province of the south.
Maan reported that the police had tried to conciliate between al-Ali (who resided in Turkey and was currently in Iraq) and her kin to “come up with a long-term solution to the family conflict”.
Tapes that were not verified seemed to reveal that al-Ali’s father was not pleased with her choice to reside independently in Turkey.
Maan reported that the family’s interaction with law enforcement had been amicable, yet “they were stunned the following day when her father confessed to having taken her life”.
No additional information was provided about what the disagreement entailed.
Al-Ali had cultivated a fanbase on YouTube through her posts, which usually included video clips of her day-to-day activities and her fiancé.
An anonymous source from the police force disclosed to AFP that the “family dispute” was from as far back as 2015.
In 2017, Al-Ali visited Turkey with her family, yet upon their return, she chose not to accompany them, electing to remain in the country instead. According to the police source, she has been living there ever since.
No ‘honor’ can be found in so-called honor killings. Whoever attempts to legitimize the murderer of Tiba is as guilty as the killer, and whoever dishonors Tiba’s life lacks honor.
As of present, no legislation in Iraq has been passed to penalize domestic violence.
In 2014, a legislative proposal on domestic violence was first presented to parliament, though it has seen little advancement since then. Legislators who are against the bill have expressed that it could “deteriorate Iraq’s social makeup”.
The demise of Al-Ali has caused an uproar in Iraq on social networks, prompting mass demonstrations in Baghdad on Sunday to call for justice in the wake of her death.
According to Ala Talabani – a veteran politician – in our societies, women are subject to outdated customs because of the lack of legal consequences and governmental steps – which are not adequate for the magnitude of domestic violence incidents, as she pointed out in a tweet.
Hanaa Edwar, an advocate for human rights, informed AFP that, based on audio files believed to be from the young female, “she had departed her family … because she was sexually assaulted by her brother”.
Amnesty International spoke out against the “terrible” murder, affirming that “the Iraqi penal code continues to be too lenient towards ‘honor crimes’ like physical assault and murder”.
Aya Majzoub, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, commented that, as long as the Iraqi authorities do not pass strong legislation that safeguards women and girls, there will be an ongoing occurrence of ghastly killings.
Image Credit: HAIDAR HAMDANI