Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Maliki could at least pretend the rape of a young Iraqi woman is still an outrage in todays Iraq...
"As expected, Al Maliki is claiming the rape allegations are all lies. Apparently, his people simply asked the officers if they raped Sabrine Al Janabi and they said no. I'm so glad that's been cleared up.
"Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Makiki moved quickly to try to defuse a scandal after a Sunni woman said she was raped by three officers of the Shiite-dominated police.
The government's response — siding with the officers and trying to discredit the allegations — threatened to bring even more backlash.
A statement by al-Makiki's office accused "certain parties" — presumably Sunni politicians — of fabricating the claims in an attempt to undermine security forces during the ongoing Baghdad security operation, which began last week.
The statement was issued only hours after al-Maliki ordered an investigation into the case Monday night.
The 20-year-old married woman said she was assaulted after police commandos took her into custody Sunday in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Amil, accusing her of helping insurgents. She said she was taken to a police garrison and raped.
"It has been shown after medical examinations that the woman had not been subjected to any sexual attack whatsoever and that there are three outstanding arrest warrants against her issued by security agencies," the government statement said, without giving details.
"After the allegations have been proven to be false, the prime minister has ordered that the officers accused be rewarded," it said without elaborating."
I hate the media and I hate the Iraqi government for turning this atrocity into another Sunni-Shia debacle- like it matters whether Sabrine is Sunni or Shia or Arab or Kurd (the Al Janabi tribe is composed of both Sunnis and Shia). Maliki did not only turn the woman into a liar, he is rewarding the officers she accused. It's outrageous and maddening.
No Iraqi woman under the circumstances- under any circumstances- would publicly, falsely claim she was raped. There are just too many risks. There is the risk of being shunned socially. There is the risk of beginning an endless chain of retaliations and revenge killings between tribes. There is the shame of coming out publicly and talking about a subject so taboo, she and her husband are not only risking their reputations by telling this story, they are risking their lives.
No one would lie about something like this simply to undermine the Baghdad security operation. That can be done simply by calculating the dozens of dead this last week. Or by writing about the mass detentions of innocents, or how people are once again burying their valuables so that Iraqi and American troops don't steal them.
It was less than 14 hours between Sabrine's claims and Maliki's rewarding the people she accused. In 14 hours, Maliki not only established their innocence, but turned them into his own personal heroes. I wonder if Maliki would entrust the safety his own wife and daughter to these men.
This is meant to discourage other prisoners, especially women, from coming forward and making claims against Iraqi and American forces. Maliki is the stupidest man alive (well, after Bush of course…) if he believes his arrogance and callous handling of the situation will work to dismiss it from the minds of Iraqis. By doing what he is doing, he's making it more clear than ever that under his rule, under his government, vigilante justice is the only way to go. Why leave it to the security forces and police? Simply hire a militia or gang to get revenge. If he doesn't get some justice for her, her tribe will be forced to... And the Janabat (the Al Janabis) are a force to be reckoned with.
Maliki could at least pretend the rape of a young Iraqi woman is still an outrage in todays Iraq... "