Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

Stop Domestic Violence!

A statement condemning the frequent occurrences of domestic violence in Iraq, particularly the most recent incident involving the child Karrar from a group of activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and civil society organisations.

We watch with great distress , the recurring issue of childhood abuse and domestic violence in Iraq. The most recent case involved the tragic death of a 9-year-old boy named Karrar, who suffered severe violence at the hands of his family members. Video and photographic evidence clearly show numerous bruises on various parts of his body, including his head and face. Medical reports and statements confirm that he was also subjected to sexual assault.

The child was brought to Al-Ibn Baladi hospital in an unconscious state, with visible bruises and injuries. It was determined that he required further medical attention and was transferred to Al-Shaheed Al-Sadir Hospital for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Unfortunately, the severity of his injuries was apparent, and he passed away on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023.

What is particularly concerning in this case is the apparent escape of the child’s parents or their allowed escape. In such incidents, guardians or other accompanying individuals should not be allowed to leave until the right of the injured child is ensured, and impunity is prevented.

We also commend the community police for their efforts in visiting the abused child and diligently following up on his case. We especially appreciate the dedication of one of the police officers who accompanied the child throughout his time at the hospital, up until his very last moment.

As human rights defenders, we demand that official authorities take serious action to ensure the rights of citizens to life, safety, and freedom, as stated in the constitution. Efforts must be made to limit cases of childhood abuse and domestic violence, and criminals must be pursued and held accountable to prevent impunity. We also remind the government of its obligation to implement the Child Rights Agreement of 1989, translate it into local legislation, and guarantee its implementation to achieve its goals. Furthermore, we call attention to the government’s constitutional commitment to protecting families, as stated in Article 29, First/B of the Iraqi Constitution in 2005. We urge the 5th rotation of parliament to prioritize the “Child Protection Law” and “Anti-Domestic Violence Law,” which are necessary to address the societal need to limit such heinous crimes. Karrar, Tiba, and countless others are victims of these crimes, and we cannot allow this to continue.

Thursday, 23, February