UN: Iraqi lawyers killed defending women's rights

Published: Monday August 21, 2006

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Iraqi lawyers are being attacked and killed for defending the legal righs of women, according to a report filed by the UN.

The United Nations' IRIN Information Office reports that according to an Iraqi legal association, dozens of lawyers have been murdered and "hundreds attacked" for defending cases percevied to be "against Islam."

The threat of violence against Iraqi lawyers has driven many to surrounding countries, according to the report.

Portions of the IRIN article are excerpted below. The full article is available here.


Defending the rule of law and women’s rights is costing some Iraqi lawyers their lives. Since October 2005, 38 lawyers have been murdered and hundreds attacked for defending cases which their enemies say are "against Islam," according to the Iraqi Lawyers Association (ILA), a nationwide organisation.


Salah Abdel-Kader, 56, a well-known lawyer and professor in the capital who had handled cases of honour killings and custody battles, was shot dead in his office on 29 July. A note found near his body said, "This is the price to pay for those who do not follow Islamic laws and defend what is dreadful and dirty."


"Since January, at least 120 lawyers have left Iraq to Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, frightened by the constant threats. And since the US-led invasion in 2003, hundreds of others have already left," said Qusay Ahmed, 44, an Iraqi lawyer and member of the ILA.