30 April 2013
It is with great concern that the NGO community in Iraq received the news about the assassination of the civilian activist Jala Dhiab Al Mufatij, head of the “Ansar Al Hurria” Organization in the early hours of the evening on 26 April 2013. The crime took place in a crowded street full of pedestrians and cafes, and only 300 meters away from an Iraqi Army checkpoint near the entrance of the city of Al Zubair in the south of the Basra Governorate.
Using weapons with silencers, the offenders aimed their fire and struck the victim directly four times in the head and chest while his colleagues accompanying him in his car were uninjured. The assassins escaped without being pursued after they spread fear and terror in one of the most peaceful and calm southern cities.
Many believe the shy condemnations voiced by NGOs over the incident reflect their concern over the provocation of the perpetrators and invoking their retaliation against other civil rights activists. These organized attacks against civil activists for their role in monitoring and standing up to violations against basic human rights (especially against vulnerable and marginalized communities) is a clear threat to civil peace and a blatant escalation to the already tense situation in Iraq.