Deputy PM says looking into handling of case of child raped last spring

Eight-year-old girl raped in April 2019 with her father at a press conference in February 2020 (File)

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SULAIMANI — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani's spokesperson said on Friday (February 21) that the government was investigating the circumstances around the case of a young girl who was raped and abused in Erbil and the authorities subsequent handling of the case.

The rape took place last April, when the girl was seven-years-old, and the family has been fighting for justice for their daughter ever since. The three alleged perpetrators were briefly arrested last spring, but were quickly released on bail by the authorities.

In June, the girl's father said that, after the suspects were released, they had tried to kidnap her.

Spokesperson Samir Hawrami said that the deputy prime minister had personally looked into the case and had been reassured by the governor of Erbil and other authorities in the governorate that all legal procedures were being followed regarding the case.

He added that one suspect in the rape was in custody, but the girl's family has disputed the claim, saying that all three suspects remain free.

Violations of the rule of law are common in the Kurdistan Region, where locally dominant parties often exert a high degree of influence on judicial and police matters.

On Wednesday, the girl's father spoke to the media again and said that members of the police had threatened him, telling him to drop his lawsuit against the trio.

The Erbil Police dismissed his allegations and said that they had completed their investigation and sent the result to the court for further action.

“We arrested three people based on the complaint of the girl’s father and we have included the Independent Commission for Human Rights in our investigations and updated them on every detail,” the police said in a statement.

The KRG Ministry of Interior said that a committee was being formed to look further into the case.

(NRT Digital Media)