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Monday, 6 February 2023

Iraqis protest over killing of YouTube star by her father

Iraqis are protesting to demand a law against domestic violence, days after a YouTuber was strangled by her father in a killing that sparked outrage.

Tiba al-Ali, 22, was killed by her father on January 31 in the southern province of Diwaniyah, Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said, adding there had been an attempt to mediate between the young woman and her relatives to resolve a “family dispute”.

The father later surrendered to the police and confessed to murdering his daughter.

On Sunday, security forces prevented dozens of people from demonstrating outside the country’s Supreme Judicial Council, and they gathered instead at a road leading to the building.

Some held placards saying “Stop killing women” and “Tiba’s killer must be held to account”.

“We demand laws to protect women, especially laws against domestic violence,” protester Rose Hamid, 22, said. “We came here to protest against Tiba’s murder and against all others. Who will be the next victim?”

Another demonstrator, Lina Ali, said: “We will keep mobilising because of rising domestic violence and killings of women.”

Protester Israa al-Salman, who wanted al-Ali’s father executed for the crime, said, “Anyone who wants to get rid of a woman accuses her of disgracing her dignity and kills her.”

To date, no law in Iraq criminalises domestic violence. A draft domestic violence law was first introduced to parliament in 2014, but progress has stalled amid widespread political opposition from legislators who believe it would “erode Iraq’s social fabric”.

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