A call to hold accountable all those who violate Iraqis’ human rights
Since the earliest days of the October Revolution in Iraq, criminals have assassinated activists and human rights defenders, both women and men. Despite having committed these horrible crimes they have not been held legally accountable. This has led to an increasing number of intentional killings, kidnappings, and enforced disappearances of well-known leaders and supporters of the protests. The latest are the assassinations of Hashem Al-Hashemi in Baghdad, and the prominent Basra protest leaders, Tahseen Al-Shahmani and Dr. Reham Yaqou.
What is deeply concerning is the lack of commitment on the part of those Iraqi authorities who are responsible for protecting the lives of Iraqi citizens and guaranteeing our rights. This is a vitally important matter. The failure to identify all parties that issue orders to kill, to establish clear and concrete procedures to arrest and prosecute all those responsible, and to bring perpetrators to justice is an outrage.
This failure also highlights the absence of any active and public condemnation of these crimes from other government entities, including the House of Representatives and the Public Prosecution Service. We are infuriated by the profoundly inadequate response from the judicial authority to bring these criminals to the courts to receive appropriate penalty.
It is equally vital that all who were responsible for the deaths and repression of nonviolent protesters and committed human rights defenders are condemned by international human rights organizations, the United Nations, and diplomatic missions in Iraq. These condemnations must continue until there is justice and accountability. If the Iraqi government cannot or does not take action, then we must take our struggle outside Iraq’s borders and seek action and intervention through international courts and tribunals.