Behind the Veil

Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend human nature. Like in this case that was recently reported from Iraq.It show how war brings out the worst in us, when people start to behave like animals and show their terrible sides.

A man was suspected of something (!!); however the local police were not able to get a hand on him. So they took away his sister named Dalal, all the way from Baghdad to distant Tikrit hoping that the brother would follow to get her out. There they jailed her incommunicado in a mainly men’s prison and soon enough, she was raped repeatedly.

The lady became pregnant and fearfully wrote to her brother, pleading for help. Dalal lived through the horrible days behind bars in Tikrit, hoping that her brother would at least now come to save her from her misery. She was also quite worried wondering how she would continue her life after release, and what her family would think.

Her brother requested police permission to meet her. Permission was granted. He came to the police station one Saturday, for Saturday was visiting day, got through the guard lines without being searched and shot her dead in the name of honor (the disgrace of being pregnant out of wedlock) to his home. It was, as they all said later, a honor killing, just one among the many hundred occurring every year in Iraq.

On the other hand, did Dalal desire to be killed and escape the agony of shame and pain? A question which will never have an answer.

The prison guards were relieved, and the story would have ended there, but for the fact that the body was later brought to the Baghdad morgue. The lab attendant working there found it all fishy; actually she knew right away and did an autopsy discovering the dead woman to be pregnant with a 5 month fetus. She was determined to exact justice and raised a hue & cry. Eventually a DNA sample was taken from the dead fetus. Prison guards were ordered to submit their samples which they provided thinking that this case may never go the distance, as was the usual norm.

The father was found to be the head of the guards. The case quickly died a ‘natural’ death, but nobody had bargained for the dogged determination of the lab worker.

The implicated person was arrested, but released for lack of evidence. The third defendant was retained in custody but it was later reported that both were sent to Baghdad. It appears that blood money or tribal ransom was paid to the family to drop charges according to some.

For all practical purposes, the case is closed in Iraq. The police officers were apparently freed. After all they need more police to keep order on the streets, than shamed pregnant women.

Sad, isn’t it? It happened to Dalal because she was a defenseless woman. That was her only fault. At least 2000 such honor killings have taken place after the Iraq war started.

Much like the story of the Mannanars of Chirakkal, there are safe house being created for such victims and other ill-treated women, but where are they?

This note was based on a story reported by Tina Susman in LA times. Here is the link for the full story.

Pic - Courtesy MSNBC

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi Maddy,

'Mayada'by Jean Sasson would be an interesting read for you- if you havent already.

talks about 1 woman's survival under the Saddam regime.

Sriram
narendra shenoy said…
WHat a world! We still hav miles to go before we become truly human
Anonymous said…
It was certainly interesting for me to read that article. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.
Anonymous said…
Chilling and cold blooded. One wonders if there is any justice. Sends a shiver down the spine
I am inconsolably shocked!
Happy Kitten said…
It is shocking and disgusting....

nd Iraq continues to bleed with no end in sight.. nd even when Saddam is removed...

the honor killing is not confined to Iraq.. had read about it some time back and now the following reports does give some positive news..


http://www.merinews.com/article/the-growing-menace-of-honour-killings/15786527.shtml

5000 is not a small number... horrific if it is true...
Kamini said…
What a heart-breaking story. Yes, stories like this remind us of just how far we have to go, and how much ignorance, cruelty and discrimination still control what people think and do.
Kamini said…
What a heart-breaking story. Yes, stories like this remind us of just how far we have to go, and how much ignorance, cruelty and discrimination still control what people think and do.
What a sad tale - So terrible - makes me wonder when will it all end, when will woman be cease to be a mere piece of goods to be used and abused.
Naveen said…
there r a few things i'd like to say here .....
firstly, people of any place which undergoes a prolonged period of war/insurgency looses it's human values... it is as if every man is unto himself.. .. our own kashmir is a place in point....

secondly .... honour killings are very common in places like haryana & UP .... not far from our capital city ...... it is the bane of closed societies
Maddy said…
Thanks Sriram.. I should give that a try, am running behind on the reading for a couple of months now

Thanks Narendra, Murali..

Thanks kamini and thanks naveen, you are right. Survival & lawlessness changes nature

Thanks raji...Some day, I hope
Happy Kitten said…
Dont know where my comment that
I had posted some time ago went...

Like Naveen, even I was reminded of the fact that things are not the same even in India.. and the number is 5000 per year! but then things are poised to change in India and we can be more hopeful.. as for Iraq, dont know when things will come to normal...