Un­law­ful dis­crim­i­na­tion: fe­male pros­ti­tutes go to jail while clients go free

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - H.G. Has­san

Re­cently, a num­ber of fem­i­nist ac­tivists and hu­man rights ac­tivists have been fight­ing to get rid of the 'zinā' law in Kur­dis­tan. The zinā law crim­i­nal­izes sex­ual in­ter­course be­tween a fe­male and a male who are not mar­ried to each other. Hu­man rights ac­tivists have ar­gued that hun­dreds of woman who were sub­jected to rape, or even gang rape, ended up be­ing ac­cused of zinā.

Fem­i­nists also ar­gue that fe­male pros­ti­tutes go to jail while the clients are re­leased with­out sen­tence. Ac­tivists de­mand that the fe­males be re­leased or re­lo­cated to a more suit­able en­vi­ron­ment. The num­ber of women ar­rested on, or ac­cused of, the charge of un­law­ful adul­tery is cur­rently grow­ing in Er­bil’s jails.

Abu Han­ifa, a fa­mous Arab ju­rist of the past, agreed with the flaws in the zinā law and went so far as to claim that preg­nant fe­males who were not mar­ried but claimed to have been raped or forced into sex­ual in­ter­course should not have to prove the fact as the law dic­tated; their word should be enough.

Ma­lik ibn Anas, how­ever, had an op­pos­ing view. He stated that women who claimed to have been raped should have phys­i­cal proof that it hap­pened. If she goes bleed­ing to the po­lice or if they find traces of se­men from the rapist on her then her claim should be be­lieved. Many of­fi­cials agreed with him and drafted the law in ac- cor­dance with the lat­ter ju­rist.

For his part, Kwes­tan Muhamma be­lieves that both client and pros­ti­tute should be charged with the same of­fence and be con­sid­ered equally li­able.

"We want the women to be sent to prison too, so we can place them in a spe­cial cen­ter and re­form them."

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