WOMEN’S ALLIANCE FOR KURDISTAN, IRAQ AND SYRIA NEWSLETTER JULY 2016

 

NEWS

  1. Shengal women call for international action against the genocide of Êzidîs
  2. Êzidî woman freed from ISIS tells the story of barbarism
  3. Êzîdî women respond to Barzani: We won’t let the PKK leave Shengal
  4. Women march for the freedom of Öcalan in Marseille
  5. ‘Rojava Revolution tore down all the taboos identified with women’
  6. Women, who throw away their black dresses, shout ‘long live freedom’
  7. Women from Manbij: We feel safe in liberated areas
  8. Hearing on murder of Sakine, Fidan, Leyla postponed
  9. The carriers of unwritten culture: Dengbêj women
  10. She resisted 26 years ago, she will again
  11. [Video] Ezidi girl kidnapped by Islamic State recalls her escape

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

     1. Who are they, these revolutionary Rojava women?
     2. Rojava revolution: how deep is the change

REPORT

  1. New Report: Inside the Women’s Ward: Mistreatment of Women Political Prisoners at Iran’s Evin Prison
  2. Iraqi Kurdistan: New GCHR report says women human rights defenders challenging violence

CAMPAIGNS & ACTION

      1. PEACE IN KURDISTAN-WOMEN ALLIANC: OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MASOUD BARZANI- Petition: End Ban on Women’s Rights Organization in Erbil

NEWS

  1. Shengal women call for international action against the genocide of Êzidîs

July 15th/ANF News

ISIS gangs selling women in slave markets turn Êzîdî children abducted from Shengal into suicide bombers. Thousands of Êzîdî continue to suffer in the hands of the gangs. An Êzîdî woman who managed to escape ISIS with a child in her lap, along with her 2.5 years old sister and a 11 year old child gives a chilling account.

Êzîdî woman A.K., whose full name and photograph can’t be published due to security concerns, says KDP sold them out and turned them over to ISIS gangs, that thousands of Êzidîs are still captive in the hands of ISIS and that Êzîdî children were used as suicide bombers.

http://anfenglish.com/special/ezidi-woman-freed-from-isis-tells-the-story-of-barbarism

2. Êzidî woman freed from ISIS tells the story of barbarism

July 15th/ANF News

ISIS gangs selling women in slave markets turn Êzîdî children abducted from Shengal into suicide bombers. Thousands of Êzîdî continue to suffer in the hands of the gangs. An Êzîdî woman who managed to escape ISIS with a child in her lap, along with her 2.5 years old sister and a 11 year old child gives a chilling account.

Êzîdî woman A.K., whose full name and photograph can’t be published due to security concerns, says KDP sold them out and turned them over to ISIS gangs, that thousands of Êzidîs are still captive in the hands of ISIS and that Êzîdî children were used as suicide bombers.

http://anfenglish.com/special/ezidi-woman-freed-from-isis-tells-the-story-of-barbarism

  1. Êzîdî women respond to Barzani: We won’t let the PKK leave Shengal

May 15th 2016/ANF News

Shengal Êzîdî Women’s Assembly strongly condemned the KDP President Massoud Barzani’s meeting with Êzîdî community leaders in the village of Sıhêla where he pressured Êzidîs to fight against the PKK earlier this week. In the meeting, Masoud Barzani stated that the PKK’s existence in Shengal should be ended and asked Êzidî peshmergas and people to take a stance against the PKK openly. Accordingly, Barzani said that the existence of two authorities in Shengal should be ended, and the Êzidî peshmergas and people should take an open stance against the PKK and kick it out of Shengal. Barzani also said that they would fight the PKK if it refuses to leave Shengal.

https://anfenglish.com/women/ezidi-women-respond-to-barzani-we-won-t-let-the-pkk-leave-shengal

  1. Women march for the freedom of Öcalan in Marseille

July 13th/ANF News

A march was held in Marseille led by Arin Mirkan Women’s Assembly with the slogan Freedom for Öcalan.

The crowded march by women demanded freedom for the Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. The banners in the march read: “Yesterday Mandela, Today Öcalan”, “Freedom For Öcalan, Legal Status For Kurdistan”, “Ten Million People Demand an Answer”.

https://anfenglish.com/women/women-march-for-the-freedom-of-ocalan-in-marseille

  1. ‘Rojava Revolution tore down all the taboos identified with women’

ANF News/June 14th

Before the beginning of the civil war, life in Syria was relatively different in comparison to other Arab countries.

People of Manbij would freely spend time outside, visit parks and cafes, enjoy dinners in restaurants till the late night hours during the summer months. Women and men would go to places of entertainment together, and they would even join demos against the Assad regime together.

Yet, the situation in Manbij changed gradually in the wake of the civil war that began in 2011 and the occupation of gang groups affiliated with the Syrian National Coalition from 2011 to 2014. The city degraded into a place dominated by sharia laws. The situation in the city got worse with the occupation of the ISIS gangs in the year of 2014.

http://www.anfenglish.com/women/rojava-revolution-tore-down-all-the-taboos-identified-with-women

  1. Women, who throw away their black dresses, shout ‘long live freedom’

1st July 2016/Jinha News Agency

Manbij women, who lived under ISIS atrocity for years, have been saved by Manbij Military Council. Women made their way to safe areas and throw their black dresses and shouted “long live freedom”. The happiness of women can be seen in their eyes and they said: “We are proud of the operation of council. For years, we were under the atrocity of ISIS. Now we reach our freedom. We are looking forward our homeland to be liberated.”

http://jinhanews.com/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/57107

  1. Women from Manbij: We feel safe in liberated areas

July 4th/ANF News

After they started to be driven out of Manbij and its surroundings, ISIS gangs have increased their pressure and cruelty against the people in towns and cities they have invaded.

Women escaping Tıl Eran and Tıl Hasıl regions under ISIS occupation to seek refuge in the free zones in Manbij talked to the ANF about the gangs’ cruelty and their experiences.

https://anfenglish.com/women/women-from-manbij-we-feel-safe-in-liberated-areas

  1. Hearing on murder of Sakine, Fidan, Leyla postponed

June 29th/ANF News

The investigation file for the murders of PKK founder Sakine Cansız, KNK Paris Representative Fidan Doğan and Kurdish Youth Movement member Leyla Şaylemez on January 9, 2013 in French capital Paris had been completed in May 2015 and the hearing was scheduled for December 5-16, 2016.

Diaspora Kurds in particular were focused on the hearing in December when a new development came to pass. Selma Akkaya from Yeni Özgür Politika reported that the Special Penal Court noticed the lawyers that they had postponed the hearing.

http://www.anfenglish.com/news/hearing-on-murder-of-sakine-fidan-leyla-postponed

 

  1. The carriers of unwritten culture: Dengbêj women

3rd July 2016/Jinha News Agency

The main source of Dengbêj, which is oral literature of Kurdish culture, is love, war and migrations. Dengbêj (traditional Kurdish singer) is called also storytellers or reciters of epics. Mostly dengbêj people sing songs without any instruments. Even if the pressure, atrocity and bans are obstacles in performing the music culture, they cannot break the connection between Kurdish people and music. Women continue to carry the heritage of Ayşe Şan ve Meryem Xan who become immortalized in Kurdistan. One of these women is Meryem Tuncer (40). She stated that women created the culture of dengbêj and this culture become immortalized with them. She said that Dengbêj is the oldest and the most efficient oral art of Kurdish people.

http://jinha.com.tr/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/57241

 

  1. She resisted 26 years ago, she will again

3rd July 2016/JINHA News Agency

Lice, where the state has burned and demolished many times, gives a clear message that it will continue to resist against the state’s genocidal attacks. 80-year old Müzeyyen Pektaş, who experienced all kinds of the state’s atrocity in 1990s, emphasizes that she won’t leave her rebuilt home even if it hasn’t windows and doors.

http://jinha.com.tr/en/ALL-NEWS/content/view/57241

 

  1. [Video] Ezidi girl kidnapped by Islamic State recalls her escape

June 22nd 2016/ NRT

A teenage Ezidi girl who escaped after over a year of captivity under the Islamic State described brutal conditions and sexual slavery at the hands of the militants, in a video released by a charity group on Wednesday.
http://www.nrttv.com/EN/media-video-detail.aspx?Cor=2&Jimare=8166

 

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Who are they, these revolutionary Rojava women?
July 12th/Open Democracy Meredith Tax just had to find out who they were – the revolutionary women of Rojava, bearing arms against ISIS, building a new world…she had to find their story, for herself, and in her new book, for us. Imagine a life amidst war, another war, and recovery from decades of war, where humans decide that all public positions are shared between women and men, and where, in fact, everything is shared. It’s not a bleak but beautiful fantasy dreamed up by Ursula le Guin, it is here and now on the border between Syria and Turkey. It is Rojava.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/beatrix-campbell/who-are-they-these-revolutionary-Rojava-women

 

  1. Rojava revolution: how deep is the change?

20th June /Open Democracy
This is the obvious question to ask – but an extremely difficult one to answer, especially when the situation is as fluid as it is in Rojava. All the women I interviewed while I was there talked about how deeply embedded patriarchy was in their social fabric, how the revolution had made a start in all the ways that I have described in this six-part series on Witnessing the Revolution in Rojava, and yet gave no concrete examples of the ways in which it continued to plague their lives. From the homes I stayed in, it appeared that domestic work was still primarily the responsibility of the women. Oddly this seems to be the last frontier of patriarchy, the double burden that women carried even in the heady days of the revolution in places like the Soviet Union when they were taking on all the jobs conventionally done by men. I say ‘oddly’ because domestic chores seem like a small loss of privilege in comparison to the loss of status and income from jobs traditionally reserved for men. Having said that, the younger men appeared to be more self-servicing; Khaleel, who drove the official car of Kongra Star, the women’s umbrella organisation, said he shared the domestic duties of cooking, cleaning and shopping.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/rahila-gupta/rojava-revolution-how-deep-is-change

 

REPORT

  1. New Report: Inside the Women’s Ward: Mistreatment of Women Political Prisoners at Iran’s Evin Prison

20th June/International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Political prisoners held in the Women’s Ward at Iran’s Evin Prison are routinely denied medical care and hospitalization, face severely restricted or denied visitation rights even with their young children, are deprived of regular telephone contact with their families, and are not provided adequate nutrition, according to a report released today by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2016/06/inside-the-women-ward-report/

 

  1. Iraqi Kurdistan: New GCHR report says women human rights defenders challenging violence

1 June 2016 / Gulf Center for Human Rights

Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Iraqi Kurdistan face the same risks as other human rights defenders worldwide, but as women, they are also subject to gender-specific threats and violence, according to a new report by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR).

The report, “Iraqi Kurdistan: Women Human Rights Defenders Challenging a Continuum of Violence”, is based on research conducted by GCHR in January of 2016 in Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaimanyia. It is available in English and Arabic.

http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1268

 

CAMPAIGNS & ACTIONS
1. PEACE IN KURDISTAN-WOMEN ALLIANC: OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MASOUD BARZANI- Petition: End Ban on Women’s Rights Organization in Erbil
We, the undersigned call upon you to exercise your executive authority to permit the Kurdish Women’s Relation Office (REPAK) in Erbil to reopen in order to continue its legitimate activities which are entirely in accord with the law. On 5 May 2016 the REPAK premises in the city were raided and closed by the Asayish Security Forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government. Staff were detained, their identity papers and mobile telephones were taken from them. They were bundled into security vehicles to be driven and expelled outside the city and told that they would not be allowed to return. The REPAK offices remain closed. No explanation was offered for these alarming actions. This measure is totally undemocratic and without any legal basis whatever. It obstructs the vital work needed to support Kurdish women in the Middle East.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/end-ban-on-womens-rights-organization-in-erbil


Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Patrons: Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Kate Osamor MP, Elfyn Llwyd, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary,  Simon Dubbins. UNITE International Director Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell

 

 

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