The police department of the Duhok Governorate announced the murder of a transgender woman in Babûxkê, a village in the Mangesh district of Duhok.
This article documents a current event. Information on the article may change based on the progression of the case and news coverage.
The preliminary investigation showed that the transgender woman, whose name was Doski Azad, aged 23-years-old, was murdered by her brother, Chakdar Azad, who came back to Kurdistan from abroad over two weeks ago to carry out his plans of doing so, the motive being Doski’s transition. The police investigation showed that the murder took place on January 28, three days before it was reported. Doski’s other brothers and father refused to give any comment to the media regarding her murder. According to NRT, Doski’s social media accounts were all deleted after the incident.
The media were able to reach Abdulsalam Aziz, Doski’s cousin, for a statement. He reported that they were not aware of the incident and that they only found out on the evening of February 1. “We were on our way to the cemetery to bury her body, the judge called us for further investigation on her body, so we returned. [sic]”
Police claim that the culprit notified his brother three days after committing the murder, telling him the place of the body. His brother then called the police to report the incident. This is when the police force arrived at the crime scene and found Doski’s body, shot twice, once in the head, and once in the chest, according to a new report by Rudaw. During those three days, Chakdar fled the country by driving to Turkey.
In the same report, it is revealed that Doski had moved out from her family house over five years ago as of February 2, 2022, but this did not stop the family from pursuing her, sending her death threats occasionally. Doski’s uncle, Dlovan Sadiq, told Rudaw that he had not seen Doski ever since. One of Doski’s friends, who requested their identity be kept a secret, claims that Doski’s father had once confiscated her passport and identification document.
A campaign called “Justice for Doski Azad” was started on Twitter, many influencers, journalists, and activists participated in the campaign.
— Yeksani (@yeksanii) January 31, 2022
Some of the people who participated claim that, based on information circulating online, Doski’s brother was allegedly living in Germany, an EU member state. The police did not specify which country the culprit was living in before the incident, and simply reported to the media that “he lives abroad.” A Kurdish radio based in Erbil called Babylon FM, posted on Facebook: “A man came back from Germany to kill his sibling in Duhok over the weekend […]”
Yeksani later made the hashtag campaign an official petition hosted on All Out’s website.
The German Consulate in Erbil formally addressed the situation over Twitter, “human dignity shall be inviolable,” they tweeted in English, Kurdish, and German in order, alongside a picture of Doski.
Olivier Decottignies, consul general of the French Consulate in Erbil, followed the German consulate by tweeting on his personal account on Twitter, almost the same content, except for replacing the German text with a French one.
Yeksani reached out to personnel from the U.S. Consulate General for dialogue on the subject, which released a statement shortly after: “The United States notes with concern media reports that Doski Azad, a resident of Duhok, was the victim of so-called “honor” killing. We categorically condemn this violence and the discrimination that is undoubtedly the root of this crime,”
The statement continued, “We ask the authorities to thoroughly investigate this murder and prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement read. The Canadian Embassy followed, releasing a statement in three languages, followed by UNAMI, on Twitter. Later, the Dutch Consulate General also released a statement on the matter.
The police say that at this moment, nobody is detained, and the investigation continues. The case is treated based on Article 406 of the Iraqi Penal Code.
Kurdish LGBT+ rights activist Jiyar Elî tweeted that the family must be treated as though they were accessories to murder.
Doski’s family members must be treated like they were accessories to murder. Police must investigate each and every single person in her family! #JusticeforDoskiAzad
— Jiyar Elî 🏳️⚧️ (@JiyarEli) February 2, 2022
Dindar Zebari, who is the Kurdistan Regional Government’s “Coordinator for International Advocacy”, referenced the case in a tweet: “While some practices remain incompatible with the national legal framework and social norms, they must be dealt with in accordance with the law and within the court jurisdiction. Kurdistan Region will remain a safe haven for the exercise of individual and group freedoms.” The elusive nature of the tweet was pointed out by some people on Twitter.
strange statement. what does he mean to say..?
— Frederike Geerdink (@fgeerdink) February 2, 2022
Based on available information, it appears that Doski’s murder was premeditated. Honor killings usually happen based on the consensus of family members. Not only was Doski threatened and intimidated by first-degree relatives, but also distant ones from her tribe.
“The culprit is not just one person, it’s the system which educated and raised the criminals,” Peshkoo Zandi, Kurdish LGBT+ rights activist said in an interview with Yeksani. “Doski’s case must reach a conclusion, as it would in any other part of the world. The killer is still amongst us, coming and going, and nobody is even aware of their identity. Someone who does not have mercy on his own sister does not have mercy on others either.”
Activists held a memorial in Köln, Germany, in honor of Doski.
This article was last updated on February 10, 2022, to reflect the latest information.