A horrifying video showing a 17-year-old Kurdish girl being stoned to death for having a relationship with a Sunni Muslim boy has made its way onto the Web, drawing outrage and condemnation from international human rights groups.
The graphic video, posted on YouTube, shows Du’a Khalil Aswad, a member of a minority Kurdish religious group called Yezidi, being stoned and kicked in the streets of Bashika, a predominantly Kurdish town near the norther capital of Mosul.
The stoning happened last month but only came to light Thursday when the video was posted on YouTube.
The London Daily Mail reported that a local Iraqi security force witnessed the killing, but did nothing to stop it.
Click here to view the video on YouTube. WARNING: Graphic violence
Aswad was condemned to death as an "honor killing" by other men in her family and hardline religious leaders because of her relationship with the Sunni Muslim boy, the newspaper reported.
The girl's boyfriend is in hiding, the paper reported.
Family members said Aswad had shamed herself and her family when she failed to return home one night. Some reports suggested she had converted to Islam to be closer to her boyfriend, the newspaper reported.
A large crowd watched as eight or nine men dragged Aswad from a house, and then hurled stones at her for about 30 minutes until she was dead.
An Amnesty International spokesman in London said they receive frequent reports of honor crimes from Iraq – particularly in the predominantly Kurdish north. Most victims are women and girls who are considered by male relatives to have shamed their families by immoral behavior.
Many Moslems and Middle Eastern Christians believe the Yazidis are devil worshippers, though the sect's leaders say the belief stems from confusion over the name of one of the Yazidi "angels."
The Daily Mail and Encyclopaedia Britannica contributed to this report.