Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Second Iraqi Army Rape Allegation

This one isn't going to be as easy for Maliki to try to whitewash, I think. For one thing, it's in the Sunni North rather than in Baghdad. For a second, the local Army commander says the rapists have confessed. No overnight "investigation" followed by a denial and rewards for the accused this time.

The BBC has details:
Four Iraqi soldiers have been charged with raping a Sunni Muslim woman in Talafar, northern Iraq, officials say.
Brig Gen Nijm Abdullah, who acts as mayor, said the men had confessed.

It is the second time this week that members of Iraq's security forces have been accused of serious sexual assault of Sunni women.

...Gen Abdullah said he had received a complaint from tribal leaders that a group of soldiers had entered the woman's house "a few days ago" and raped her.

"One of the soldiers did not approve. His name is Mushtaq Taleb from Basra. He wanted to stop his comrades by threatening them with weapons because it is an immoral act, but the rape took place anyway," Gen Abdullah added.

He said he had referred the troops to the judiciary for prosecution.

The woman is thought to be a 40-year-old married mother of 11 from Iraq's Turkoman minority.

The defendants are identified as a lieutenant and three enlisted men.
If all the accused are from Basra, then the chances they are Shia are very high indeed.
Gen Abdullah said the troops initially denied the charge but later confessed when the woman picked them out at an identity parade.

He said the officer's only role in the alleged attack was filming it with a cell phone video camera.

The woman appeared on al-Jazeera television on Thursday, saying: "They threatened me that if I did not co-operate they would... cause me a scandal."

When asked why she did not report the attack, she said: "Who do I complain to? No-one allows us to complain."

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