Kurdistan: Woman stoned to death for eloping

"In the latest killing, or at least the latest to come to public attention, Kurdistan Aziz was 16 years old when she escaped her family with a man she knew they would not accept, and courageously following the ancient tradition of 'radu kauten' they eloped together to Arbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan. They planned to start a life together. But her father had other ideas for her; not of love, happiness or choice but that she must die for this rebellion against the patriarchal order.
The girl was well aware of the risk so she asked the police for help in the KDP controlled city. They referred her to the Department to End Domestic Violence. This Department, pledged to protect girls like Kurdistan proved themselves corrupt in accepting a bribe from her father and turned her over to him knowing the consequences. No Kurd could claim to be unaware of the dangers of returning a young woman to her father in this situation, particularly not a professional within a Department of this nature. The person who accepted this bribe is an accessory to murder since that is what 'honour' killing is, controlled murder.

Kurdistan Aziz was taken back to her family; they chose to kill her by the method of stoning her to death on the Hawre Mountain. A local woman's organization alerted the authorities in the Governate of Sulemaniya, controlled by the PUK. The PUK refused to intervene in a 'tribal issue' and asked the women's organization to risk their own safety to provide a photograph of her. On 17-18th of May, at 16 years old, Kurdistan Aziz, the girl who fell in love, was killed by her relatives, her body crushed with rocks.

The death of Kurdistan Aziz is part of the brutal and common idea that death is necessary to reclaim the "honour" of the community from the "shame" supposedly brought upon them by women or girls who dare to try to make their own lives and their own decisions: but there is no shame in Kurdistan Aziz's love and courage. The shame is in the hearts and minds of the politicians, the men who are paid to protect women who in reality sell them by accepting bribes, knowing full well the outcome. The shame is in the hearts of men who could kill a child by stoning her, because she wanted to love and be loved according to her choice, and because her father wanted to protect his reputation as a man who treats women as a proprietal right, because in Kurdistan, this is where rightness lies.

The shame is upon murderers for murdering women in the name of their warped and degraded perception of 'honour'."

Source: Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) and the International Campaign Against Honour Killings (ICAHK).