Banaz self-immolated or burnt?

Photo by Stefano Pollio for

By KirkukNow

The lady who was hospitalized for burns in a mysterious incident in Kirkuk in the middle of October told Kirkuk police that she self-immolated, but when she was brought to the emergency hospital in Sulaymaniyah, she changed her mind and accused her husband and mother-in-law of burning her.

Banaz Farooq, 22, a resident of Panja Ali neighborhood of Kirkuk Northern, oill-rich city, has been married for nine months and has two children.

According to the medical report of the Sulaymaniyah Emergency Hospital, 75% of Banaz’s body burned and currently is under observation as only 15% of her burns have healed so far.

"Our investigations found out Banaz burned herself with gasoline," Kirkuk police spokesman Lieutenant Amer Shiwani told KirkukNow, without revealing any other information.

According to our investigation, Banaz poured gasoline on herself and burned herself

However, police arrested Banazi's husband under Article 408 of the Iraqi Penal Code.

Article 408 of the Iraqi Penal Code states that anyone who incites or assists in suicide in any way is punishable by up to seven years in prison, but if the person does not die, the instigator faces minor sentence.

Banaz's relatives filed a complaint against her husband at the Oruba police station in Kirkuk. However, her mother-in-law has denied all the reports through the media.

Sulaymaniyah police spokesman Sarkawt Ahmad declined to disclose Banaz's statements to the media, although he stressed that their teams have investigated the incident.

"We cannot answer the question of how Banaz was burned. It is in our investigation file, but we can not elaborate her testimony in Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah," he added.

On February 23, a 38-year-old woman, a mother of four daughters, burned herself to death in Daquq district, south of Kirkuk, after her husband has got married for the second time.

According to information obtained by KirkukNow from other security sources, Banaz changed her mind when hospitalized in Sulaymaniyah and accused her mother-in-law and husband of burning her. Therefore, her relatives have requested her case be transferred to Sulaymaniyah.

When Banaz came to Sulaymaniyah, she accused her mother-in-law and husband of burning her

But his mother-in-law has repeatedly insisted she was "asleep" during the incident and when she woke up heard her daughter-in-law screaming and "turned out to have set herself on fire.”

"We have no coordination with Kirkuk police to find out the truth about the incident," Sulaymaniyah police spokesperson said. "What we have is at the level of both the Interior Ministry of Kurdistan Region and the federal government."

Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG Qubad Talabani has instructed the gender department of his office to investigate the case.

Ashti Abdullah, from the gender department of the Deputy Prime Minister's Office, told KirkukNow, “At the request of the burnt woman and her family who asked for help from the media, we instructed the Directorate for Combating Domestic Violence to visit her and law to have final say.”

From January to August 2022, 190 people have been sent to the burns hospital, which is part of the Azadi Hospital in Kirkuk, out of which 29 died due to high rate of burns: 24 of them were female, according to official statistics.

Last year, 242 cases of burns and self-immolation were registered at the same hospital, of which 62 died, only three of them were males.

According to the statistics of the Kirkuk police command, in the first six months of 2022, 16 cases of "suicide" were registered in the province, 11 of them were female.

In the first two months of the current year, 149 cases of domestic violence were registered in Kirkuk, including 122 cases against women, 500 cases in 2021, including fights between spouses and marital betrayal.

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