ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A man shot his wife dead outside a court in the Kurdistan Region capital on Sunday where they were processing a divorce, local authorities said.
The incident took place in the parking lot of the Erbil Court of Law after the couple’s fourth divorce session. The man shot his wife six times, police said. Neither of their identities has been released.
Abdul Khaliq Talaat, Head of the Erbil Police Department, said the suspect was arrested at the scene and charged with first-degree murder. A further investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“An initial investigation with the husband after his arrest indicates that the root of the problem dates back to 2018 when the woman was arrested and sentenced to prison until April 2019 over a social conflict,” Talaat told Kurdistan 24.
“Following her release, both sides filed for divorce. Today was supposed to be their fourth session [at the court],” he added.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) generally has a progressive stance toward women’s rights and has issued laws against domestic violence. The KRG has also provided government-sponsored shelters for victims of gender-based abuse.
The autonomous Kurdish government continues to encourage victims of domestic and gender-based violence to report any threats, sexual harassment, or assault to local authorities.
Although international and local organizations, along with the regional government, have been working to raise social awareness in the Kurdistan Region, honor killings and violence against women continue to exist.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Newroz Abdullah)