“Who Killed Me?”: Iraqis Want Slain Activists’ Killers in Jail

Published May 24th, 2021 - 11:52 GMT
Iraqis demand justice for slain activists
Anti-government movement also called for boycotting October elections. (Twitter)
Iraqis call for a million people protest on May 25th to pressure the government to hunt down slain activists’ killers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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