By Sally Shakkour
Iraqis have suffered enough in the past few years, more than 800 activist-protesters were either killed, faced assassination attempts or were abducted since the start of the uprising movement in 2019. Fresh protests under ‘who killed me’ slogan are expected to take place in Iraq to demand justice for slain activists and urge the boycott of upcoming parliamentary elections.
Several pro-democracy activists were hunted down; the latest was Ehab Al-Wazni, who was shot to death in his hometown of Karbala in Al-Haddad area on May 9th. In 2019, Al-Wazni had survived another assassination attack months after participating in the protests in Iraq.
Activists are calling for protests in Baghdad and southern Iraq tomorrow under the slogan: “Who killed me?” They are demanding the arrest of slain Karbala activist Ehab al-Wazni’s killers, as well as accountability for the rising tide of other targeted assassinations. pic.twitter.com/r5nNKqQx07— Louisa Loveluck (@leloveluck) May 24, 2021
Social media campaign emerged calling for justice for slain activists and their families under the hashtag ‘#من_قتلني” which means ‘who killed me?’. Users shared names of Iraqi activists’ who were killed after participating in the 2019 protests against government’s corruption and incompetence.
Calls for fresh protests are part of people’s show of their anger against slain activists and the government’s silence on the human rights’ bashes in the country as well as its inability to punish the killers.
"I announce my withdrawal from the legislative elections," Former lawmaker Faeq Al-Sheikh Ali said and quitted office after the death of anti-government protester Ihab Al-Wazni.
A new movement named Al-Beit Al-Watani, means the National Bloc, were formed after activists’ murder in Karbala. The founder has called for and emphasised the importance of not participating in the upcoming elections.
Dozens of other groups have announced joining the October elections boycott so far.
Human rights organization, Sumernas Center for Human Rights, revealed that the protest movement is preparing for a mass street protest on May 25th under the slogan (Who Killed Me) to demand justice for slain activists.
It also added that over 800 people in Iraq were killed since the start of the anti-government protests in 2019, including Ihab Al-Wazni, Hisham Al-Hashemi and Reham Yacoub.
The protest movement in Iraq is organizing a mass demonstration on May 25 under the slogan (Who Killed Me) to demand justice for Ihab Al-Wazni, Hisham Al-Hashemi, Reham Yacoub and 800 others who have been killed with impunity since October 2019.#مليونية_تشرينية#من_قتلني pic.twitter.com/0TkbyHV4N5— Sumernas Center for Human Rights (@sumernas_hrc) May 23, 2021
Activists revealed that street cameras do have enough details to lead to the killers of anti-government protesters, but the authorities in Iraq are not doing any effort to identify the gunmen.
Murders of Iraqi activists & civilians are taking place publicly with surveillance cameras capturing enough details to identify the gunmen, yet no one is being prosecuted.#من_قتلني pic.twitter.com/69T7v8d6jl— Sally Bachori (@sabachor) May 17, 2021
Iraq is set to hold parliamentary elections this year in October. However, post attacks on anti-government demonstrators; Iraqis now calling to boycott the vote.
Since October 1st, Iraqis have either organized demonstrations, marches, sit-ins or civil disobedience in order to complain about unemployment rates, worsening economic crisis and inefficient public services. Demonstrators have also urged for the end of the sectarian political system which was created by the US after the US-led invasion in 2003.
© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)