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Police video of sex workers causes uproar in Iraqi Kurdistan

A video circulated on Kurdish social media showing a police filming of a group of women and men apparently caught in a brothel in Erbil stirred controversy in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
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The two-minute video was no different from the videos in which Islamic State captives were paraded by the peshmerga or the Iraqi forces. The room was dim, the 12 women — including a teenager — and the five men were terrified of the police officer ordering them to give their names, place of residence and ethnicity. They were allegedly caught in a brothel in Erbil; the women were portrayed as sex workers and the men as customers. Most were from the Kurdistan Region, but three of the women were from Baghdad. One woman even carried a toddler.

“My wife had loaned 100,000 dinars [$84.50] to the woman from Kirkuk and when she went to collect the debt from her, the Erbil police raided the house and took her away, too. That night they insulted her and she was beaten until the following morning,” the husband of one of the women from Baghdad told the NRT broadcasting company outside a courthouse in Erbil. “Is this the justice they talk about?”

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