BAGHDAD, 16 Aug 2006 (IRIN) - Defending the rule of law and women’s rights is costing some Iraqi lawyers their lives. Since October 2005, 38 lawyers have been murdered and hundreds attacked for defending cases which their enemies say are “against Islam”, according to the Iraqi Lawyers Association (ILA), a nationwide organisation.
Salah Abdel-Kader, 56, a well-known lawyer and professor in the capital who had handled cases of honour killings and custody battles, was shot dead in his office on 29 July. A note found near his body said, “This is the price to pay for those who do not follow Islamic laws and defend what is dreadful and dirty. ”He had been threatened many times this year, said his widow, Suheiyla Muhammad. “He was a brave man and always defended what he believed was correct under the law,” she said. “Unfortunately some families cannot accept it… He was a victim because he cared about legal processes.”
Lawyers who have been attacked had handled cases that challenge Iraqi traditions or certain interpretations of Islam. Cases involving inheritance and the division of assets in a divorce have also led to violent attacks on lawyers. In Iraq, as in some other countries in the region, women who are accused of having sexual relationships outside of marriage are sometimes killed by their husbands or their own family members, who say they are defending the honour of the family. Although honour killings have been practiced in countries around the globe and predate Islam by centuries, some killers say their actions are justified by Islamic law. According to Islamic law, adultery is a crime punishable by death, but only if four male witnesses testify that the act occurred. With such a heavy burden of proof, most Muslim countries do not enforce the death penalty in adultery cases....
Hmmm. Maybe "flourishing" is not the appropriate term here. How about, "nowhere to be found".