A focus on the history of the struggle of women political prisoners of Kurdistan region

For more than a century, we Kurds in Iraq have been second-class citizens and have been constantly under threat of oppression and faced various forms of repression and elimination of race. Imprisonment is a form of intimidation which was used for the purpose of controlling and suppressing different opinions and not allowing participation in the legitimate struggle of our nation. Monitoring ,invitations , raids, kidnappings, arrests, detentions, imprisonment, disappearances, killing by torture or poisoning, assaults and exile (expulsion from our borders in Iraq, which was
known as exile, and forced transfer, known as deprivation of identity removing ourselves from outside Iraq as the Faily Kurds) also shooting ,execution and deportation was the fate of anyone who moved against the regime,thousands of us were destroyed daily, monthly and annually on charges of national treason,injustice and other alibis,collectively as Kurdish Failis,Barzanis and Anfal inJafayati valley,Qaradagh,Garmian,Zey Bchuk watershed,Balisan Valley, Smaqul Badinan and the notorious Anfal process and
genocide of the Yezidis.

If women had not been armed or directly participated in the political sphere, we would have been victims and imprisoned or if we were the spouse,mother,sister, or daughter of a revolutionist or a peshmerga.sometimes We were arrested solely for supporting by taking a stand in writing,educating self with curriculums which were
against the regime’s programs, participating in protests as well as art, literature and sports.

According to sources, during the governance of Iraq’s consecutive regimes,more than 100 types of torture have been used during imprisonment amongst both men and women,(especially the latter)in addition to physical and mental torture as well as sexual assault that has a heavier impact on one’s life in the future which
includes mental fragmentation of women .sometimes the acceptance of the punishment by our conservative society after the release,threatened women’s lives and negative perceptions had long-term psychological effects, (for the sake of the psychology of the participants,I won’t talk further about the torturing methods practiced on myself and my friends).

Because of the large number of victims and to respect the struggle and history of those people whose lives through which we achieved a historic achievement in a federal Iraq,The Kurdistan parliament passed a law protecting the rights and privileges of political prisoners, although most of its provisions have not been implemented yet,It is a spiritual and proud achievement for all those who have spent years in prison in the worst conditions, and that is the law of number 20th of 2011 Kurdistan Parliament that describes political prisoner in this way: the one who has been arrested or imprisoned for expressing its demonstrations against Iraq’s consecutive regimes until 2003/4/9 (the date on which the regime was destroyed), in terms of opinions or political and national intimacy,supporting,helping or participating in the Kurdish liberation movement and sentenced by The judges of the government.people
who were were imprisoned and arrested but were not sentenced by the judges,on the condition that they were not involved with the institutions of the previous regimes.

Children born in prison were named political prisoners.Also those who as a result of ISIS attacks in Iraq and Kurdistan region were kidnapped these were part of Iraqi communities such as Yazidis, Shabaks, Turkmen and Christians political prisoners,The Iraqi federal government has issued special laws that apply to resident citizens.for more than a century women have been persecuted for their participation as themselves or because of their national
identity, including women in political parties up to The Anfal process and the genocide of the Failis and the Yezidis… (Leila Qasim) is an example of women’s struggle ( Rezhaw in the anfal process)Who is the Iraqi Arab (Nadia Murad) Yezidi girl sold to ISIS,…many more of them who have their own heroic and courageous stories that’s full
of dignity.

Until now, political activities are being obstructed in various ways and for different reasons and women freedom fighters are being arrested and imprisoned as an excuse to protect peace and for the misuse of electronic devices and mobile phones,disrupt social security in order to obstruct different opinions(Birivan Bargari, who was imprisoned for more than two years). The Kurdish people have continuously tried to establish their human rights through armed struggle and diplomacy for a century, but in vain We are in danger of destruction.

I was released from Sulaimani Red Security Prison on March 8,1991 because of the great leadership of our people I’m a witness to the monstrosity of the previous regime that was committed towards the prisoners,we had organized ourselves as a leftist group in the city after the bombing of Halabja and Anfal and the transfer of the villages to separate peshmerga from people,oppression and injustice got so bad that The opposition forces completely fell under pressure due to the use of prohibited weapons and bombing they fled the city but the southern kurds have always been determined and constantly reorganized itself in various ways to confront all the oppressions.

Data and Statistics: For several political and historical reasons, the government has often kept these statistics hidden due to the horrendous acts practiced on them,There is no exact information on how many women were killed in each process (only those registered in the ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Victims, which is constantly changing because most of the mass graves have not been repatriated and many of their prisoners have not been interrogated). For example,several years after the destruction of the Ba’ath regime, a document
was found in which 17 girls who had been captured during the Anfal process had been sold to Egypt
The fate of thousands of Yazidi girls remains unknown.

Conditions of female prisoners:-Lack of food or hygienic food and water.- Lack of clothes and difficulty in washing and cleaning (forexample, I was captured for six months during which I wore the same clothes until my release. I couldn’t even wash myself once).Various diseases and lack of treatment-Segregation of women was used as a threat to make maleprisoners confess.-Solitary confinement. -Threatened with death and violating their dignity and their families.-Several women political prisoners and familiesof peshmerga havelost their children in prison due to the lack of health care Forexample, during the Anfal process, children died at birth or afterbirth, after their bodies were in their mothers’ arms for several days They were taken away not knowing how and where they were taken and buried , sometimes they put their children under a bit of sand,some female prisoners say they have seen their children’s corpses eaten by dogs. -Lack of contact or difficult conditional visits.-Lack of protection or if there was protection, it was only formal andin the interest of the regime-Unfortunately, after their release, prisoners suffered from various forms of social rejection and mental problems. Even though The value of these struggles and sacrifices is not assufficient ,After the revolution, the patriarchy is the reason forwomen’s exclusion from the political fields.fortunately, women have now come to the political scene with a freer mind and we are defending our rights with more confidence than ever and we demand that society respects us.The Kurds have a saying that says (the lion comes out of the cave be it male or female). In the hope ofpeace for humanity so that we can accept each other and respect different opinions,I say yes to human rights, yes to dignity.

Mehraban Ali
political prisoner during the Ba’ath regime

You may also like...