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