Reacting to the horrific murder of blogger Tiba Ali, who was murdered by her father in a family dispute, Aya Majzoub, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:
“Until the Iraqi authorities adopt robust legislation to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, we will inevitably continue to witness horrific murders such as that suffered by Tiba Ali, apparently at the hands of her own father.
“Iraq has failed to criminalize domestic violence despite an increase in reporting of incidents of domestic violence by national NGOs. Shockingly, the Iraqi penal code still treats leniently so called “honour crimes’ comprising violent acts such as assault and even murder. There is also no effective system in place for reporting domestic violence nor adequate shelters to protect women and girls.
“The murder of Tiba Ali must be investigated, the perpetrator brought to justice and the sentence must be commensurate with the gravity of this terrible crime, without recourse to the death penalty.”
Tiba Ali had, local media reported, been living in Türkiye and was under threat by her family but she had returned to Iraq for a visit, only to be killed on 1 February 2023. Her father has reportedly surrendered to the authorities. News of her murder broke on Wednesday night and social media users began to condemn the killing and call for accountability under the hashtag ‘We Demand Tiba’s Rights.’
A draft law on domestic violence was tabled and debated in the Iraqi Parliament in 2019 and 2020 but has stalled since then. In 2020, UN agencies in Iraq expressed their concern at the rising number of domestic violence cases during the Covid-19 pandemic.