human rights watch

söndag 19 maj 2013

Biography of Leyla Qasim on 39th anniversary of her execution

Biography of Leyla Qasim on 39th anniversary of her execution.

Lelya Qasim was born on (December 27, 1950) to a faili Kurdish family in (Bamili) village of Khanaqin town; his father was a worker at the oil company in the town.

She went to school in Khanaqin in (1958) and finished secondary school there and continued studying. After her father’s retirement, they moved to Baghdad and lived there, despite the difficulties they were facing, her parents were urging her to go back to school, all her brothers and sisters were students (Sabiha, Salam, Safa, and Salah), they have all worked to make a living while studying.

While studying, she has contacted Kurdistan Democratic Party via her bigger brother who sacrificed her life for the Kurdish issue.
She got accepted in Sociology department of Faculty of Arts of Baghdad University and started her activities to serve her nation in (1971), as a female activist, with her fellow men, she has involved in political activities, she got married to a Kurdish worker named (Jwad Hamawandi), he also died fighting for Kurdish rights.

Leyla suffered from poverty since her childhood, and saw the brutality of the Iraqi regime to the Kurds, which made her strive for freedom of her nation.

(Leyla Qasim) played a big role among the Kurdish students of Baghdad University in keeping them aware and supervising them, while it was said that women cannot struggle with men in the cities and in the mountains, she was working with the Kurdish boys at the university in a wider struggle and she was against inequality of men and women, since she was studying sociology, she understood the realities of the Kurdish society.

Lelya and her lover and husband (Jawad) conducted a scientific research in (1974) on the Kurdish society and they were looking for a chance to publish it, but they did not have a chance to print it.
At the beginning of 1974, she was trying to print a secret publication with her fellows, to publish her peace message and supporting her nation’s and women rights. This was in the time where March 1970 autonomy agreement failed, the Kurdish question and its revolution was fading.
Though her idea was rejected by her party, but she insisted on delivering the message of continuing revolution to everyone. 

On (April 29, 2013) Leyla, her husband, her friends Nariman Fouad Masti, Hassan Hama Rasheed and Azad Sleman Meran were arrested by the Baath regime.

After arresting them, the regime announced it on TV, and (Alsura) Baath regime affiliated newspaper, local Iraqi Radio and TV call (Layela Qasim) and her friends vandals, despite torturing them severely, not even one evidence found about them, in a quick trail, they were sentenced to death.

Regarding her execution, in one of her famous quotes (Leyla) says: “my death will awaken thousands of Kurds from ignorance; I am very happy and proud that I die for Kurdistan’s freedom” 

On (May 12, 1974), less than two weeks after arresting them, Lelya and her friends were executed.

Her execution evoked diverse reactions, and the Kurds in exile in European countries protested to condemn her execution.

(Leyla Qasim) is the first female political activist in the Middle East who was executed.  
A day before her execution, she had asked for Kurdish clothes via a Kurdish lady who was (Abdulaziz Pshtiwan)’s wife, so that she wear it for her execution, her mother sent her the Kurdish clothes.

On May 12 (07:00am), Leyla Qasim was taken for execution,one of Baath’s soliders puts his wepon’s Bayonet close to her left eye and tells her “which one do you love most now? Your eye, or Kurdistan? (Leyla Qasim) screams Kurdistan, she went to the noose on her feet and wore it, after the hanging, the doctor who was supervising the execution process examined her and saw that she is still alive, they hang her for the second time until she dies.

Sometime after (Leyla)’s execution, the Baath murders her brother (Salam Qasim) in Baghdad, his one guilt was sending (Leyla)’s picture to the committee of Kurdish students abroad. (Lelya)’s parents soon died in sorrow because of losing them.

Prep: Arsalan Rahman

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