Iraq: Births of AQ’s children were never legally recorded, now they have no legal rights

The daughter of an al-Qaeda in Iraq militant who forced her mother into marriage and motherhood, then disappeared, Zahraa is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children whose births amid the anarchy and insurgent violence of Iraq were never legally recorded.
Without the paperwork to prove that she is the child of an Iraqi man and that her parents were joined in a legitimate marriage before her birth, Zahraa and others like her have no rights as Iraqi citizens, legal experts say. They do not have birth certificates, passports or national identification cards and will be unable to go to school or hold a government job.
These children, a little-noticed legacy of more than seven years of war, are paying for the sins of their fathers.
“It’s dangerous because in the future they might hurt the society that hurt them,” said Ahmed Jassim, director of the Nour Foundation, a nongovernmental organization working to improve the lives of the militants’ offspring in the northeastern Iraqi province of Diyala.
The children are products of a time when al-Qaeda in Iraq controlled large swaths of the nation after the U.S.-led invasion. The legal system broke down, institutions stopped functioning and an insurgency raged. Some Sunni Muslim communities gave sanctuary to the men, Iraqi and foreign Arabs, believing they would help rid them of a foreign army. But al-Qaeda in Iraq quickly grew brutal, overpowered other Iraqi insurgent groups, declared an Islamic state and enforced a severe form of Islamic law.
…Officials in the Interior Ministry tasked with assisting victims of the Iraq war said the women are not considered victims of rape and, although the situation is unfortunate, there is nothing they can do.
“Helping them could encourage al-Qaeda in Iraq,” said Fadhil al-Shweilli, a ministry official who deals with victims of war.
Legal experts said the easiest solution would be to give the children to orphanages or forge their birth certificates with the name of a fake father.

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