ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s security service (Asayish) on Saturday released the confession of a taxi driver who raped a woman in the capital of the autonomous region.
The arrest of the taxi driver, identified as Fakhir Hamad Haider, came after a complaint was lodged with the Erbil Security Directorate, which looked into the case and brought the man to court.
The assault took place on the night of April 1, after the woman, believed to be a foreign national, was seen on security footage taking a taxi at 00:55, local time, on Gulan road heading to Ankawa, Erbil’s Christian district. Haider, however, took her to an empty lot near the Binaslawa district, some 15 kilometres away from Ankawa, according to the statement.
Haider, who is 48 years old, then proceeded to rape her and left the woman in the deserted area as he returned home.
“I am Fakhir Hamad Haider Abdullah born in 1971. I’ve been working as a taxi driver for the past two years. I picked up the woman at 12:55 am near the Turkish Consulate. She was talking in English, and I did not understand her. She was asking about Ankawa, but I didn’t understand her. I took her to Binaslawa, and there I asked for that thing [sex] from her,” Haider admitted to in a confession video released by Erbil security authorities.
“She refused, and I took out a knife and threatened her. There, I did the act [rape] and left her there. After a few days, Erbil security forces arrested me,” he explained, without showing much remorse regarding the assault.
Haider had a previous run-in with the law after he was arrested in 2017 for sexually assaulting an ethnically Arab woman. He was jailed and eventually released.
Laws protecting victims of sexual abuse and assault in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq remain woefully unenforced. The stigma surrounding sexual assaults also make it hard for women to come forward with their complaints, with many believing the attackers face very few repercussions.
Editing by Nadia Riva