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الثلاثاء، 25 نوفمبر 2014

Women protest in Kirkuk, Anbar security plan suffers a blow and more

Women protest in Kirkuk, Anbar security plan suffers a blow and more

The Common Illa 
Alsumaria reports that women took to the streets in Kirkuk today to protest against the ongoing violence against women where, protesters state, there are 84 recorded cases of violence against women with little to no follow up from the government.  The protests took place on the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's office released the following statement:

25 November 2014 - Sexual and gender-based violence is the most extreme form of the global and systemic inequality experienced by women and girls.

It knows no geographic, socio-economic or cultural boundaries. Worldwide, one in three women will suffer physical or sexual violence at some point in her life, from rape and domestic violence to harassment at work and bullying on the internet.
This year alone, more than 200 girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria; we have seen graphic testimony from Iraqi women of rape and sexual slavery during conflict; two Indian schoolgirls were raped, killed and hung from a tree; and in the United States, there have been high-profile cases of sexual violence on sports teams and university campuses.
Women and girls experience violence in all countries and neighbourhoods but these crimes often remain unreported and hidden. We must end the silence. That is why this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is centred on a grassroots effort to raise awareness called Orange Your Neighbourhood. Around the United Nations in New York, the Secretariat building and the Empire State Building will be lit orange, and many other events are planned across the world and on social media.
Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue. We must shatter negative gender stereotypes and attitudes, introduce and implement laws to prevent and end discrimination and exploitation, and stand up to abusive behavior whenever we see it. We have to condemn all acts of violence, establish equality in our work and home lives, and change the everyday experience of women and girls.
Women’s rights were once thought of as women’s business only, but more and more men and boys are becoming true partners in the battle for women’s empowerment. Two months ago, I launched the HeForShe campaign; a global solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other, for the benefit of all.
We all have a role to play, and I urge you to play yours. If we stand together in homes, communities, countries and internationally, we can challenge discrimination and impunity and put a stop to the mindsets and customs that encourage, ignore or tolerate the global disgrace of violence against women and girls.

The never-ending Iraq War has destroyed many lives but among the communities and people targeted most frequently are religious minorities and all women in Iraq -- regardless of religion or sect.

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  • US President Barack Obama's so-called 'plan' for Iraq isn't a plan but is a failure.  Former State Dept official Peter Van Buren has a column at Reuters which notes:

    A critical first step is, of course, to remove Islamic State from the equation, but not how the Obama administration envisions. The way to drive Islamic State out of Iraq is to remove the reason Islamic State has been able to remain in Iraq: as a protector of the Sunnis. In Iraq War 2.0, the Iraqi Sunnis never melded politically with al Qaeda; they allied out of expediency, against the Shi’ite militias and the Shi’ite central government. The same situation applies to Islamic State, the new al Qaeda in Iraq.
    The United States is acting nearly 180 degrees counter to this strategy, enabling Shi’ite militia and Iranian forces’ entry into Anbar and other Sunni-majority areas to fight Islamic State. The more Shi’ite influence, the more Sunnis feel they need Islamic State muscle. More Iranian fighters also solidify Iran’s grip on the Shi’ite government in Baghdad, and weakens America’s. The presence of additional Sunni players, like the Gulf States, will simply grow the violence indecisively, with the various local factions manipulated as armed proxies.

    Here's something else you grasp if you want to reduce the violence in Iraq: Don't sentence Sunni politicians to execution.  As noted in yesterday's snapshot, former Sunni MP Ahmed al-Alwani has been sentenced to death.

    He was convicted of killing 2 soldiers.

    When?  Where?  How about who?

    Those are the questions the so-called court refuses to answer.

    They're going to put him to death and they won't even present their so-called evidence to the public, they won't even name the supposed dead.

    al-Alwani's real crimes include being Sunni and supporting the protests against thug and thankfully former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.  The protests had gone on for over a year.

    The world press ignored the protests, minimized them, only giving them serious attention when they could falsely attack the protesters.

    al-Alwani didn't do that.  He gave his support to the protesters.

    For that, Nouri sent the military into al-Alwani's home, killing the MP's brother and other people.  He was illegally arrested and this took place in the early morning hours before dawn.

    al-Alwani belongs to the Sunni tribe most visible in fighting the Islamic State in Anbar Province.

    Alsumaria notes the head of Anbar security declared today that the announced execution will only further hamper efforts to route the Islamic State out of Iraq.

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