Very recently in Duhok, Iraq, a young woman was publicly threatened by her husband. Abandon your four newborn babies, he said, or you will be killed.
After Sara gave birth to quadruplets last week, the shocking news made social media go wild. The woman’s husband Barzan threatened her at Azadi Hospital in Duhok that if she did not give up her children he would kill her.
In an interview, Barzan explained that Sara had insisted on getting a job and starting a career. However, after Barzan knew about her pregnancy, he kept her in one room with a woman taking care of her and providing for her needs.
Sara is 33 years old, and her entire family passed away after she got married. She had asked her husband to let her have a job as he has, but he refused. He believed that the outside community would “spoil” her.
Kurdistan and Iraq have recently been ranked as the countries with the most “honor killings,” with more than 12,000 total cases.
“My father sold me to my husband when I was 20 years old. I asked my father many times to let me complete my education or get a job, but he had the same mindset as my husband,” Sara said.
Sara explained that for thirteen years, her husband beat her, leaving scars on her body, because she could not get pregnant. Sara asked that we not show her scars. But one may ask why she didn’t report the abuse to the police?
Ferman Najm, a police officer in Duhok, told us a little about why some of these cases repeatedly happened over the years, without anyone stopping them. “Sometimes the heads of some popular families come to us to solve the problem without letting others know about it, which means letting them do what they want without arresting them.”
Sara is just one victim of many, according to Mariam who is Sara’s best friend. Mariam clarified that Sara’s husband and his family know that Sara has no power to defend herself and achieve what’s rightfully hers.
Mariam said, “In just the past three months, I heard of 8 cases where women were beaten and murdered, and for sure the police and the media know about these. But we don’t see any changes”.
Sara is still missing and we don’t know if she left her house according to her husband's demand, or if something happened to her.
The four children are living with their father and grandmother, without their mother by their side.