Iraqi forces accused of rape for second time in a week

[JURIST] A 50-year-old Iraqi woman has accused Iraqi forces of rape, an Iraqi official said Thursday, the second such accusation in a week. The attack on the Sunni woman and her two daughters allegedly occurred less than two weeks ago in the city of Tal Afar by four Iraqi soldiers, including one officer. An Iraqi official told the AP that a fifth soldier, suspecting something was wrong during the search for weapons and insurgents, entered the woman's house and held the other soldiers at gunpoint, forcing them to stop. The official additionally said that the men had been referred to judicial authorities, and would be punished. AP has more.

On Monday, a 20 year old Sunni woman claimed that three Shiite Iraqi police officers raped her [Al Jazeera report; Al Jazeera video interview, in Arabic; partial English translation] during a search of her Baghdad home. Less than a day after the accusations were made, Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] cleared the officers, potentially furthering sectarian turmoil [CSM report] in the country. The US has announced that it will conduct its own investigation. Rape is a sensitive subject in the Middle East, with a vast majority of cases unreported due to the potential of being socially shunned, and, in more tribal regions, the fear of being murdered by a family member as part of an "honor killing" [National Geographic report]. Earlier this week US Army Sgt. Paul E. Cortez became the second US soldier to plead guilty [JURIST report] to the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in the Mahmudiya (also "Mahmoudiya") area last March.

 

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