Second Rape Charge In a Week for Iraqi Forces

| Thu Feb. 22, 2007 11:03 AM EST

Earlier this week we reported that a 20 year-old Iraqi woman was taken to a police facility and gangraped by three members of the Iraqi security forces. Then came Prime Minister Maliki's thoroughly disgusting response -- he exonerated the suspects after an "investigation" that lasted less than a day, declared that they should be honored (for unspecified actions), made the name of the accuser public, and finally, called her a criminal and a fraud.

Now it seems that the U.S. military, led by recently-elected Gen. David Petraeus, has ordered its own investigation into the rape, and has already appointed an American officer to take charge of gathering evidence.

This comes as a second rape allegation surfaces, with the AP reporting that four Iraqi soldiers have been accused of raping a 50-year-old Sunni woman and the attempted rape of her two daughters. In Muslim society in particular, rape victims rarely speak publicly, fearing shame and even death at the hands of male relatives seeking to save the family honor. Yet this victim chose to speak out, and even appeared today on Al-Jazeera television, saying the soldiers asked her about certain individuals and accused her of lying to them when she insisted that she didn't know them. No word yet on Maliki's response this time around.

—Jen Phillips

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