A prominent Iraqi activist, Salah al-Iraqi, has been killed in Baghdad on Tuesday evening, according to the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights that described it as an “assassination”.
The activist played a key role in mass protests organized against government corruption and calling for high unemployment rates and inadequate public services to be addressed.
Mr. Iraqi was alleged to have been shot by masked men in the Baghdad al-Jadida area, according to multiple reports.
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.
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 begun to fill the streets once again.
In August, a doctor and women’s rights defender who had led women’s marches within the protest movement was killed in Basra.
Riham Yaqoob was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen riding a scooter as she drove through the centre of the southern city.
Another women’s rights activist in Basra, Lodya Remon Albarti, was shot and wounded two days earlier.
And in July, four men on motorbikes fatally shot the journalist and security expert Hisham al-Hashimi in front of his house in Baghdad. (Source: Independent UK)