Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights joins joint statement with more than 20 human rights and civil society organizations condemning the murder of transgender woman Doski Azad in Kurdistan-Iraq

Erbil (February 9, 2022)  — Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights Chairman and Founder Salah Ahmad released the below statement addressing the January 31, 2022 murder of transgender woman Doski Azad in Duhok Governate by her brother who traveled back to the region after living abroad in Europe.

Statement from Jiyan Foundation Founder and Chair Salah Ahmad:

“So-called ‘honour killings’ are barbaric hate crimes that have no place in a civilized society. This despicable act is emblematic of a culture that invites terrorism, hatred, and violence across the Middle East. Jiyan Foundation, together with like-minded organizations across the region urge the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi authorities to end the ‘honour killing’ tradition by prioritizing investigations of hate crimes committed against LGBTQ+ individuals.”

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights further calls on the Kurdistan Regional Government to invest in educational and public awareness programmes to combat this culture of hatred and violence against the LGBTQ+ community.

Statement from Jiyan Foundation Psychotherapist Shene Mohammed:

“Most LGBTQ+ people in the Kurdistan Region we see are afraid to show themselves because of the violence they face; they struggle with depression and substance abuse, anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and guilt because their families and society do not accept them. They don’t feel that they are loved by society.” 

Last December Jiyan Foundation began implementing LGBTQ+ sensitivity and awareness raising training seminars for staff, starting in Erbil. Ensuring this type of awareness raising education about LGBTQ+ community living in the region is a priority for Jiyan Foundation we aim to continue internal seminars and training for our entire staff across all facilities.

Jiyan Foundation also calls on the international community to demonstrate support for this case by signing the petition to the Ministry of Justice, Office of the Coordinator for International Advocacy, High Council of Women Affairs, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraqi Government.

Read our joint statement here


About Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization that supports survivors of human rights violations, defends fundamental freedoms, and promotes democratic values throughout the world. Jiyan Foundation seeks to build democratic societies that protects the dignity of the human being, where adults and children enjoy the rights to life and freedom, and citizens are free from violence, torture, and terror,

Our programs, projects, and initiatives provide mental health, medical treatment and other health services to survivors of trauma, terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations. Our work supports nine treatment centers, a clinic for Yazidi women and families, a Healing Garden and mobile teams helping survivors in 11 refugee and IDP camps in nine regions throughout Kurdistan-Iraq, Iraq, and Syria. Since 2005 these programs have provided support to over 100,000 people.