Victims punished, criminals set free, this is the fair law of the "liberators"
Houzan Mahmoud
Iraqi Women's Rights Coalition
August/September 2003

We have seen how America attacked Iraq, destroyed its socio-economic infrastructure, and created a political vacuum, and we have seen how the Islamic fundamental groups have exploited the situation and are terrorizing women, forcing them to wear Hijab. More than ever, we are hearing now that they throw acid on women's legs if they are walking in the streets without wearing socks, or if they are not wearing gloves in this burning summer, where the temperature reaches 45 degrees! [113 degrees Fahrenheit] ...

The USA brought back to force the most reactionary Islamic norms and values, which are highly discriminative against women, the USA has empowered them in the so-called Governing council....

Women's liberty and freedom are in great danger in Iraq, they are dying. There is collective rape either by American soldiers, or by Iraqis in order to take revenge, women are being kidnapped and sold to other neighboring countries, there is widespread prostitution in Iraq.

The question is, who is responsible? Is it the Iraqis themselves who are "satisfied with the freedom and welfare that America brought for them" or is it America and its allies who started a war in 1991 followed by 12 years of sanctions, and who now are occupying the country after destroying it completely and who have imposed a bunch of puppets who could only secure America's interests?

They have left the entire nation with nothing, no electricity and water supply. These are the most basic needs of human beings. There are no jobs, and no protection in such chaos, everyone is doing what they want to, taking revenge, killing, rape, there are assassinations. There are terror groups such as Islamic groups that are another burden on women and their liberties. The occupying forced must withdraw from Iraq, and hand over the ruling of Iraq back to the real Iraqis who have organized themselves in different organizations, workers, women, young people, unemployed, etc.

We want to see law restored and the criminal justice system take place on a fair and equal basis. We want to see the health system function as it should be, not closing their doors after noon. We want to see policing going on wherever there is a violation of women's rights.

They told us that the export of oil is increasing, they told us how much it would increase in the next 6 months, but they cannot say how, and when they will end rape, killing and kidnapping of women in Iraq. It is beyond their abilities. We secular people across the country are struggling for an equal and egalitarian society to be established in Iraq, and representatives of Iraqi people from their own organizations are the only ones who could manage the society in an equal and fair way.

There is no place for American administration and its engineers for its New World Order.

Excerpted from Houzan Mahmoud, "The victims should be punished and the criminal is set free! This is the fair law of the 'liberators'" in Equal Rights Now! fortnightly paper of the Iraqi Women's Rights Coalition, August 1, 2003 iss. #5

Human Rights Watch Report on Iraqi women, July 2003, "Climate of Fear: Sexual Violence and Abduction of Women and Girls in Baghdad," details cases of sexual violation and abduction of women and girls from May 25 to June 20. The report indicated the impact this has had in rising fear for women, their access to medical treatment and their access to education.

From Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement, a web exhibit about women in Iraq, "Illusions, Confusions, and Coverup" at

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