16 arrested in Iraqi Kurdistan after video of teen girl’s assault

Police in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region said on Saturday they had arrested 16 young men after a viral video showed a teenage girl being attacked at a motorcycle rally.

The incident took place in the suburbs of Sulaimaniyah, the Kurdistan region’s second city, where footage shared online showed dozens of young men and teenage boys following the girl before some of them assaulted her, kicking her against a car.

“Between yesterday evening and today, we arrested 16 suspects involved… in the assault of a young woman,” Sulaimaniyah police spokesman Sarkawt Omar told a press conference.

The victim was 17 years old, he added, noting that three of the suspects arrested had filmed the incident and posted it on social media.

He added that this was not the first time that girls or women attended such an event.

While Kurdistan works on projecting a more progressive and tolerant image than other areas of Iraq, gender-based violence remains prevalent.

On Tuesday, police in Sulaimaniyah announced the arrest of seven people suspected of having kidnapped and sexually assaulted a young woman.

The Kurdish authorities denounced the “disgraceful” and “unacceptable” assaults in a statement Saturday, underlining that they were “against all kinds of violence and violations of human rights in general, including women’s rights”.

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All hostages freed and captors killed as Pakistan police siege ends

Bannu, Pakistan (AFP) Dec 20, 2022

All 33 suspected militant prisoners who seized a Pakistan police station over the weekend were killed and their hostages freed in a clearance operation by special forces on Tuesday, the defence minister said.

The hostage takers, who were suspected of being members of various militant groups including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), overpowered their jailers and snatched weapons on Sunday.

“All the hostages have been freed,” Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told parliament. “Ten to 1 … read more

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Joan Grumbles