Prominent anti-government activist shot dead in Baghdad, reports say

Hundreds of people have been killed in protests since October 2019 

Chantal da Silva
Wednesday 16 December 2020 15:53 GMT
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Anti-government demonstrators gather at a protest site in Habboubi Square in Iraq’s southern city of Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar province on 29 November, 2020.
Anti-government demonstrators gather at a protest site in Habboubi Square in Iraq’s southern city of Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar province on 29 November, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)

A prominent Iraqi activist was reportedly killed in Baghdad on Tuesday evening. 

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said Salah al-Iraqi was alleged to have been “assassinated”. 

According to multiple reports, Mr Iraqi was shot by masked men in the Baghdad al-Jadida area. 

Fellow activists said he was taken to hospital, but he did not survive his injuries, according to the BBC. 

Freelance journalist Steven Nabil shared a photo appearing to show Mr Iraqi after being shot. The journalist alleged that the activist had been shot at least five times. 

Mr Iraqi played a key role in mass protests organized against government corruption and calling for high unemployment rates and inadequate public services to be addressed. 

The activist’s last post on Facebook was a message stating: “The innocent die while the cowards rule”. 

Human rights group have repeatedly warned of enforced disappearances and unlawful killings of activists, journalists and others since the protests began. 

Between October and December of last year, hundreds of protesters were killed by security forces and gunmen believed to be linked to Iran-backed militias, according to Amnesty International. 

While the protests briefly waned under strict coronavirus measures implemented in March, in recent months, demonstrators have began to fill the streets once again.

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