Pregnant Kurdish woman murdered by husband
wanting second wife in Iraqi Kurdistan
December 6, 2010
CHAMCHAMAL, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — On a
recent evening, the sound of bullets that Peshtiwan
Mohammed had fired at his wife, Layla Hussein,
echoed over the small neighborhood of Pir Yadiyakan
in Iraq's north. Nine of the bullets slammed into
Layla Hussein, killing both her and the baby in her
“Her hands were hit by bullets,” said Layla
Hussein’s mother, Sadriya Mohammed, from Pir
Yadiyakan in Chamchamal city, west of Sulaimaniyah
in Iraqi Kurdistan. “It seems that she had begged
her husband not to kill her,”
Ms. Mohammed’s husband disappeared during the
genocidal Anfal campaign against Kurds in which
Iraqi authorities killed approximately 180,000
Kurdish civilians, mostly villagers. As a widow she
raised her children in great hardship, only now to
see one of them, Layla Hussein, cruelly killed by
Ms. Mohammed is not certain yet why her daughter was
killed, but she said Layla Hussein had talked of
quarrels with her husband.
A Pregnant Layla Hussein was shot dead by her
husband in Iraqi Kurdistan.
"She said to me: 'Peshtiwan
keeps fighting with me. He says he wants to have a
second wife,'" said Ms. Mohammed, who added she is
now convinced her daughter was killed because her
husband wanted to marry another woman.
Peshtiwan Mohammed, a soldier in the Iraqi army
serving in central Iraq, married Layla Hussein in
2003. They had had three children together and Layla
Hussein was five months pregnant with their fourth.
"After coming back from work, Peshtiwan used to roam
around the town in his car,” said Peshtiwan
Mohammed's brother, Ahmad Mohammed. “I knew he was
in a relationship with another girl, but didn’t know
exactly who she was,”
Mohammed, who has seen the coroner’s report on Layla
Hussein’s death, said Peshtiwan Mohammed had taken
Layla Hussein to hospital 25 minutes after her
he knew she would not be able to make any statement
to the authorities.
Her family reiterated that the only reason for her
death was because Peshtiwan Mohammed wanted to marry
another woman but faced severe opposition from Layla
But Lieutenant Jalal Mohammed, a police officer at
Shorsh police station in Chamchamal, rejects these
“It’s a completely baseless claim to say Layla
Hussein was killed because her husband wanted to
marry another woman,” said Lt. Mohammed. “The couple
was having social and family problems, and Peshtiwan
has now been detained.”
He said Layla Hussein’s murder was the first case of
the intentional killing of a woman in Chamchamal
Layla Hussein’s younger sister, Amira Hussein, says
she is shocked how her sister’s and Peshtiwan
Mohammed’s life together ended up in murder.
“They had a very good life," said Ms. Hussein, who
was dressed in black. "They did not lack anything.”
Ms. Hussein said that, after her sister’s death, she
had lost her confidence in all men.
"Men don’t seem to be afraid to kill,” she said.
Layla Hussein’s mother said she wanted life
imprisonment for Peshtiwan Mohammed.
“He has given me pain that will stay with me until
death,” she said. “I raised my daughters in such
misery and hardship and now I have had my daughter
taken away from me. I will never forgive that man."
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