Monday, August 5, 2013

Egyptian series rekindles Kurdish outrage over case of 18 Kurdish women being sent into sex slavery by Iraqi regime in 1989

An Episode of an Egyptian series Niran Sadeeqa [Friendly Fire] that is aired on the Saudi channel MBC for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has rekindled a public outrage among Kurds on social networks recently about the story of 18 Kurdish girls and women who were sent to Egypt by the Saddam Hussein regime to be forced into sex slavery about a quarter of a century ago.

Khurasan Abdullah (top) and her daughter Chiman
(A little girl in the ID photo) And below the photos
is the Iraqi intelligence secret letter from the Kirkuk office
to the main office in Baghdad and below that is the  wearing
photo page of the Iraqi ID of Chiman whose Mother's
name Khurasan Abdullah also appears on the same page
In the scene, a young Egyptian protagonist appears talking to a man who is apparently working for his father about how 18 Kurdish girls and women who were captured by the Saddam Hussein regime in the Anfal operations in Kurdistan ended up in his night club. The man replies that he has no authority and that he is just following orders [the protagonist's father]. When the protagonist talks to his father how and why he had accepted to force the Kurdish women into working in the night club, the father replies “Son, isn't it better for them [to live] than to die like others [Kurds] who die on a daily basis [in Iraq]?” referring to the Anfal operations.

No, it is better for them to die. At least they die martyrs. It is more honorable for them to die than to be forced into working in the night club” the young man replies to his father.

Anfal was a series of military operations aimed at crushing the Kurdish revolt in the 1980s. In the campaign, the Iraqi army destroyed 5,000 Kurdish villages and rounded up up to 182,000 civilian Kurds among them women and children, killed them and buried them in mass graves.

The mention of the Kurdish girls and women created a public outrage especially because an Iraqi intelligence document surfaced on the social networks a few years ago according to which the Kirkuk provincial office confirmed to the general intelligence office in Baghdad that they had sent the women to Egypt to be used in the “night clubs” and the document included a list of the names of all the girls and women who aged between 14 and 29 years.

The letter from the Kirkuk office which is dated December 20th 1989 and is addressed to the general intelligence office, states: “After [receiving] immediate authorization from the political leadership and carrying out the First Anfal and Second Anfal operations, in which a group of different people were captured among them a group of girls whose ages range between (14 – 29), we have, as per your orders, sent a number of those girls to the brothels and night clubs in the Arabic Republic of Egypt as you ordered. Attached is a list of the names of those girls and their ages for your reference”

All those years the surviving families of the girls and women thought their loved ones had been killed in the Anfal campaign until the intelligence document which is marked "highly clasified" appeared on the social media.

The Kurdish authorities did not launch any investigations into finding the women in Egypt or what happened to them when the document surfaced for the first time following the 2003 Iraq war, according to Bestoon Fayaq, a political activist and advocate for the families of the Anfal victims. Fayaq said the authorities even dismissed the document as fake and said no Kurdish girls or women had been sent to Egypt.

The Kurdish leadership lied to us” Fayaq has said (Niha24). “A few years ago... we asked Jalal Talabani, Iraqi President (a Kurd) to verify the authenticity of the news [that Kurdish women were sent to Egypt] and he assured us that he had contacted Egypt and that there was no such thing. Then we asked Adnan Mufti, former Kurdish Parliament Chairman [to investigate the news] and he answered the same way” (Sbeiy)

Fayaq said the mentioning of the 18 Kurdish girls and women was evidence that the story was true otherwise why would it be brought up in an Egyptian series.

Following up on the story of the 18 Kurdish girls and women, Sbeiy news outlet – which is associated with the opposition party Gorran – released ID information of three of the names listed on the document including ID photos of two of them whose only surviving member of the family had survived the Anfal campaign.

Three of the names on the list are Chiman Nazim Abbas, Layla Abbas Jawhar and Khorasan Abdullah Tawfiq. Sbeiy has identified a man in Sulaimaniyah city named Karim Abbas Jawhar who claims he is the brother of Leyla Abbas Jawhar, uncle of Chiman Nazim Abbas and brother-in-law of Khurasan Abdullah Tawfiq who is also the mother of Chiman Nazim Abbas.

According to Sbeiy, Mr Karim has called on the Kurdish authorities to investigate the fate of his family members but they had let him down. Despite legal attempts by Mr Karim, his case has been closed by the authorities, Sbeiy reports.

Kurdistan Without Genocide, an NGO advocating the Anfal victims, called on the KRG in a statement to immediately cut ties with Egypt until the authenticity of the document is verified (Niha24)

Three other NGO that advocate the Anfal victims have warned the KRG to take action and return the 18 girls and women to Kurdistan or they will have "tough reactions"and will take "legal procedures" against the KRG (KNNC)

The Kurdistan Regional Government's Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs Aram Ahmed Mohammed has pledged to pursue the case of the 18 Kurdish women after the family of another member of the 18 women pleaded with the ministry to disclose the fate of their family member.

Abdul Khaliq Qader Aziz is another person who survived Anfal and is claiming one of the women listed in the document, Esmat Qader Aziz, to be his sister. Acording to a statement released by the Ministry, Mr Abdul Khaliq has visited the Ministry and met with the Minister and personally asked him to pursue the fate of his sister and other 17 women.

"The ministry will make all efforts to pursue the case in order to reach the truth of this news seriously, so the Minister if Martyrs and Anfal and a group of families of the victims will visit Consulate of Republic of Egypt in the capital Erbil to pursue the case as a first step” the minister has said in a statement quoted Shafaq News.
Names of the girls and women and their ages as listed in the Iraqi intelligence letter:

Galawej Adel Rahim (14)
Chiman Nazim Abaas (22)
Leyla Abbas Jawhar (21)
Lamiah Nazim Omar (19)
Bahman Shukir Mustafa (26)
Khusaran Abdullah Tawfiq (20)
Qadriyah Ahmed Ibrahim (17)
Golmalek Ibrahim Ali (19)
Khawla Ahmed Fakhradeen (25)
Esmat Qader Aziz (24)
Najiba Hassan Ali (18)
Hasiba Ameen Ali (29)
Shiler Hassan Ali (20)
Shukriyah Rustem Mohammad (27)
Habiba Hidayat Ibrahim (15)
Kuwestan Abbas Mawlud (26)
Serwa Othman Karam (17)
Soza Majeed (22)