Iraqi Woman Cuts Her Hair off to Protest Killing of Demonstrators

Published December 19th, 2019 - 08:25 GMT
Doctor Shatha Jumaa
Doctor Shatha Jumaa

Three months after the bloody Iraqi revolution started, an Iraqi doctor decided to draw the attention of the world to the ongoing torture and killing of thousands Iraqi activists. 

The 55 years old civil activist Shatha Jumaa cut her hair in the middle of Tahrir Square in Baghdad, to express her frustration and grief over the killing and torture of the protesters by the goverment. In Iraqi culture, the cutting of women's hair indicates their state of frustration as a cry for help. 

Translation: “Just in.. The well known doctor Shatha Jumaa just cut her braids off protesting the violence against acts against demonstrators, where they're being kidnapped, tortured and killed. Chopping braids off is an old tradition in which women protest dire circumstances as a cry for help." 

"Why isn't the kidnapping, torture, and killing of protesters being talked about?" Said Jumaa, who holds a doctorate in journalism and media. She added: "The governments that vowed to make change after 2003 did not meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people.”

In response to the corruption of the Iraqi government, Jumaa said: "I always participate in every demonstration protesting the corrupt abuses of power, especially since those abuses include taking the innocent lives of Iraqi citizens.”, “They took away our happiness, stability and safety, and we fear they will take away the future that we are fighting for too." 

The Iraqi protests started on October 1st, 2019, a date which was set by civil activists on social media, spreading over the central and southern provinces of Iraq, to protest 16 years of corruption, unemployment and inefficient public services, before they escalated into calls to overthrow the administration and to stop Iranian intervention in Iraq. Since the protests erupted, the Iraqi government has been accused of using bullets, snipers, hot water and tear gas against protesters.

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