Today, dozens of people in Basra (southern Iraq) buried the body of the activist, Dr. Reham Yaqoub, amid intense feelings of sadness and anger, at a time when politicians and specialists warned, through their accounts on social media, about the repercussions of the assassination of influential activists in society and popular protests, and countries and international organizations condemned the targeting of activists in Iraq.
The hashtag # Martyr_the homeland_Rham_Yacoub was issued on social media sites in Iraq today, and Iraqis demanded that security leaders be held accountable and the security file controlled in Basra Governorate, southern Iraq, due to the recurring incidents of assassinations of activists, the last of which was the activist and doctor, Reham Yaqoub.
Yesterday, Reham was killed and 3 wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire on their car in Basra, the third incident targeting activists this week after an activist was killed and 4 other activists' car was shot in a separate incident.
Ruham has been active in the local protest movement since 2018, and has led many women's marches, and the latest wave of violence began when activist Tahseen Osama al-Khafaji was assassinated last Friday, which led to the resumption of street demonstrations.
We picked up the Basra police chief and a number of security directors because of the recent assassinations, and we will do whatever is necessary for the security forces to carry out their duties.
Colluding with the killers or submitting to their threats is unacceptable, and we will do whatever is necessary for the Ministry of Interior and Security agencies to carry out the mission of protecting society's security from the threats of outlaws.
- Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (@MAKadhimi) August 19, 2020
and then Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi sacked the police and national security leaders in Basra last Monday, and ordered an investigation into the violence, which calmed the protesters' anger, and in the wake of those crimes, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi pledged to pursue the killers.
Al-Kazemi said in a tweet on Twitter, "We took the Basra police chief, and a number of security directors, because of the recent assassinations, and we will do everything necessary for the security forces to carry out their duties."
He stressed that "colluding with the killers or submitting to their threats is unacceptable, and we will do everything necessary for the Ministry of Interior and Security agencies to carry out the mission of protecting the security of society from the threats of outlaws."
The series of assassinations that happen in Basra against defenseless youths is nothing but a declaration of war against the state, and the responsibility to protect citizens necessitates us to demand a major fund led by the Counter-Terrorism Service and under the direct supervision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to clean Basra from these fragments and criminals, who are more dangerous than ISIS. .
- Adnan Alzurfi (@adnanalzurfi) August 19, 2020
For his part, the deputy and the leader of the Nasr Alliance, Adnan Al-Zarfi (the former in charge of forming the Iraqi government) warned that what is happening in Basra of the assassinations of defenseless youth is nothing but a declaration of war against the state.
He added in his tweet on Twitter that the responsibility to protect citizens necessitates a major access led by the Counter-Terrorism Service and under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister, to "clean up Basra Governorate" from what he described as "sinister and criminals."
As for the head of the National Wisdom Movement, Ammar al-Hakim, he tweeted, saying that the assassination of activists in Basra indicates a dangerous security decline, and warned of the repercussions of chaos.
He said, "The assassination of activists in Basra proves the perpetrators' ability to commit their act and the inability of the security services to deter them."
Basra Governorate is witnessing an escalation in targeting activists and leaders of demonstrations.
#Iraq | The Euro-Med Monitor, after the assassination of Reham Yaqoub ... Al-Kazemi's steps are ineffective unless the security doctrine is reformulated.
Full statement: https://t.co/zyylCq7vKh pic.twitter.com/RUyWmxGFmD
- Euro-Med Monitor (@EuroMedHRAr) August 20, 2020
International condemnation For
its part, the United States condemned the targeted assassinations of civilian activists and protesters in Basra Governorate, considering them a "flagrant violation" of human rights, while expressing support for the Iraqi government's "commitment" to holding the perpetrators accountable.
The US embassy in Baghdad said, "The United States condemns in the strongest terms the recent attacks against civil society activists and protesters in Basra, including a number of targeted assassinations."
She added, "These attacks are a flagrant violation of human rights, and we support the commitment of the Iraqi government to hold those responsible accountable under the law."
For its part, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said that the Iraqi government's steps following the assassination of the activist and doctor Reham Yaqoub are ineffective unless the security doctrine is reformulated.
The statement indicated that the government's failure to prosecute the perpetrators of the assassinations resulted in the absence of any deterrent to prevent the recurrence of these crimes.
I add my voice denouncing this heinous crime and targeting the noblest Iraqi activists and activists. Those behind these campaigns programmed against them must be held accountable.
The new generation will not be silent at all costs. #Rham_yacoub https://t.co/Xz6TNhVIbr
- Ulric Shannon (@UlricShannon) August 19, 2020
He also denounced the assassination of Reham, the Canadian ambassador to Iraq, Ulric Shannon, and said in a tweet on Twitter, "I add my voice to denounce this heinous crime and to target the noblest Iraqi activists. Those who stand behind these campaigns programmed against them must be held accountable."
I feel very sad, on the eve of the Islamic New Year, to see more assassinations targeting young activists in Basra. Bringing militias and all armed gangs under control and bringing the perpetrators to justice is crucial for the future of Iraq.
- Martin Huth (@EUAmbIraq) August 20, 2020
The ambassador of the European Union to Iraq, Martin Hoth, expressed his deep sadness at the death of Reham, saying that it is unfortunate that the incident occurred on the eve of the new Hijri year, and he called for an end to the assassinations targeting young activists in Basra, and for the militias and all armed gangs to be subject to control and the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
During the past few days, Basra has witnessed killings targeting citizens in several areas of the governorate.