Kirkuk: If you see any abuses, contact Jwan

October 12, 2017 at 9:05 am

Jwan Hasan Zangana, head of human rights committee in Kirkuk provincial council

Ali Mahmoud

Jwan Hasan Zangana lives in a turbulent time in Iraq and and resides in a city which is at the centre of the turmoil that has engulfed Iraq after Islamic State (ISIS) overran large part of northern Iran in June 2014. Over the last three years over 600,000 people fled from areas under Isis control and sought refuge in Kirkuk. As the head of the human rights & children and women rights  committee in Kirkuk Provincial Council, it comes down to Jwan to observe that the human rights of these IDPs and other residents of Kirkuk are respected by the authorities. Her main focus is on women and children.

In 2008 a provisional commitee was set up with the help of Jwan and other members and by 2010 they had convinced the council that the committee should stay and continue its work as a permanent body. Many of those whose human rights are breached or a witness to a human rights abuse, they contact Jwan and her colleagues. “It is my responsibility to help the people in whatever way we can,” Jwan told Kirkuknow. “we try to help when people contact us.”

The workload for Jwan and her colleagues at the committee has increased since the gradual arrival of around 600,000 IDPs from Isis controlled areas. Iraqi forces have retaken all the areas in northern Iraq but it will take time before the IDPs return to their homes in Hawijah basin.

Jwan has been involved in high profile cases but her involvement in a case of a child who was knifed and beaten by her stepmother.

What worries Jwan most is the dumping of corpses of women and the dumping of new born babies on the streets . She is critical of central government that has not approved the domestic violence law so there would be a shelter for women who are threatened or are in fear of their lives.

Despite all the threats against women there are many women who participate in active life in Kirkuk. “We have good female engineers, capable female doctors, some of these women have broken down barriers and have proven themselves,” Jwan said.

“We have a difficult task ahead because we live in tribal and patrimonial society but we will continue our work to eradicate violence between individuals.”

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