Iraqi Women’s Rights Activist Threatened

An Iraqi women’s rights activist from Canada, Yanar Mohamed, received a death threat for campaigning for the repeal of the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council’s Resolution 137. Mohamed recently appeared on Iraqi television denouncing the Governing Council’s decision to cancel current family laws and place family law under the jurisdiction of Islamic (sharia) law. According to Mohamed, “The law is calling for a big change in the civil laws toward Islamic sharia which means that all the achievements of the women’s rights movement in Iraq will be aborted,” reports the Canadian Press.

Mohamed is the founder of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq and the editor of the Equality newspaper. According to the Canadian Press, Mohamed received an email, signed by a group called Jaish al-Sahaba or Army of the Prophet’s Companions, that stated, “We warn you and offer that you repent. Otherwise then you are an apostate …who should be killed so that you would go to hell.”

Meanwhile, more than forty members of the House have signed a letter to President Bush that was written by Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) requesting that Bush reject Resolution 137 and make women’s equality a priority.

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New York Times 2/7/04; Canadian Press 2/8/04; Pravda 2/9/04; Maloney/Johnson letter 1/28/04

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