A video has recently gone viral on social media in which a teenage girl is seen attacked by several men at a motorbike race in Sulaimani city in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Reportedly, the 17-year-old girl who has been identified as L. Tarani was attacked by a large group of men for dressing ‘immodestly’. The girl was attacked by the men present at the racing event as they were opposed to women attending the event. The attackers hurled abuses at the girl and called her ‘wh**e’for ‘distracting’ the drivers by dressing ‘indecently’.
Iraq: A girl was sexuaIIy assauIted by dozens MusIim Kurds in Sulimanaya as she was watching a motorcycle rally!pic.twitter.com/2Z915SttOR
— Azzad Alsalem (@AzzatAlsaleem) December 30, 2022
While the girl managed to escape the spot, a man who helped her get away was reportedly stabbed.
In a series of tweets, a local NGO named Kurdistan Watch informed on December 31 that the girl had earlier also attended the racing events, but the men claimed that women should not be allowed there as “they will attract all the attention”.
Kurdistan Watch described the Hwana suburb, where the attack took place as one of the most unsafe areas in Sulaimani adding that the place is known for the widespread use of drugs.
Some context: Hwana, the Sulaimani suburb where the attack on the girl has taken place is known for widespread use of drugs by young men there and is also known as one of the most problematic and unsafe areas in Sulaimani.
— Kurdistan Watch (@KurdistanWatch) December 30, 2022
According to a local media portal Draw Media report, the participants of the race have been bringing some girls along with them. On the day the attack took place that is December 30th, it was decided that girls will not be allowed at the event, however, L. Tarani arrived at the event. The report adds that it remained unclear whether the girl deliberately arrived at the event or was unaware of the decision prohibiting women from attending the race.
According to Kurdistan Watch, the girl is an Iranian national, and the Sulaimani Police have arrested 16 men for assaulting the Iranian girl.
Sulaimani police says they have arrested 16 in connection to the attack on a girl yesterday.
The video of the incident has gone viral and has led to widespread condemnation. pic.twitter.com/9BGDj71Pxq
— Kurdistan Watch (@KurdistanWatch) December 31, 2022
It is notable that the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Masrour Barzani called the attack ‘unacceptable’ and directed the relevant ministers to hold the perpetrators accountable.
“The mob attack on a young girl in Slemani yesterday, at a moment that should’ve been about celebrating the New Year, is shameful, inexcusable, and completely unacceptable. I’ve spoken to the Interior and Justice Ministers to investigate and hold those responsible accountable -MB,” Barzani tweeted.
The mob attack on a young girl in Slemani yesterday, at a moment that should’ve been about celebrating the New Year, is shameful, inexcusable and completely unacceptable.
I’ve spoken to the Interior and Justice Ministers to investigate and hold those responsible accountable -mb.
— Masrour Barzani (@masrourbarzani) December 31, 2022
Taking to Twitter on December 30, 2022, Rewaz Faeq, Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament condemned the attack on the girl. “The senseless assault by these male predators on the girl who like any ordinary person merely wished to watch a race is the result of a barbaric narrative used systematically against our women. A society or authority not awakened by this barbarism should await a rapid death, Faeq tweeted.
The senseless assault by these male predators on the girl who like any ordinary person merely wished to watch a race, is the result of a barbaric narrative used systematically against our women. A society or authority not awakened by this barbarism, should await a rapid death. pic.twitter.com/Od3W51FRaA
— Dr.Rewaz Faeq (@Rewaz_faeq) December 30, 2022
Condemning the attack, Jutiar Adel, the Spokesperson of the Regional Government of Kurdistan issued a statement that read, “The attack and assault on a young lady in Sualimani’s Huana area are disgraceful as another incident of assault towards another woman occurred in Sulaimani province in recent days. Such incidents are unacceptable and the Kurdistan Regional Government stands against all kinds of violence and violations of human rights in general and women’s rights and legal action should be taken against the perpetrators of these crimes immediately.