Feature

Rape allegation

The week's news at a glance.

Baghdad

In a rare public accusation of rape, a Sunni woman went on Al-Jazeera television this week and said she’d been assaulted by three men serving in the Shiite-dominated security forces. Her face veiled, only her teary eyes visible, the woman said she was arrested on suspicion of helping insurgents and then gang-raped at a police garrison. Sunni leaders said the rape proved that the security forces could not protect Sunnis; Shiites said the woman made up the story to smear Shiites. When the official who oversees Sunni mosques called for an international investigation into the rape charge, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, promptly fired him. Rape victims almost never come forward in Iraq, as they risk being killed by their own relatives to erase the stain on the family’s honor.

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