Our colleague and activist, Lodya Raymond, along two other colleagues were subjected, today, to a failed assassination attempt using firearms. The armed men stepped out of their vehicle in broad day light in Basra, and opened fire against our colleagues. She and the other two activists were injured and were immediately rushed to the hospital.
The incident coincides with similar assassinations of other activists that led to their deaths during the past two days, in what appears to be a systematic campaign targeting the actors in the protest movement and the free voices calling for change. The streets of Basra are also witnessing a state of tension and anger, which was reflected in loud demonstrations during this week, which the local authorities met with repression and intimidation.
The assassinations and murders that were carried out against the activists in all the past years have never succeed in ending the peaceful activism calling for change. On the contrary, it greatly complicated the chances of coming out of the situation with easy solutions and increased the size of the public anger towards the authority and who is hiding underneath, the uncontrolled death gangs.
The assassination attempts against our colleagues will not deter us from continuing the path of demanding a change in the course of political action in Iraq, which the people have come out against and expressed their rejection of this approach in their continuous uprising since October of last year.
It is a fateful point for the government that was formed after the uprising to confront it firmly and seriously. With the continuation of government promises to meet the demands of the October demonstrators, the death squads continue their assassinations against the peaceful activists, killing them one by one, in a scene that can only be explained as a government failure to fulfill their promises and the basic obligations to achieve them.
We deplore this cowardly act carried out by unjust and outlaw groups trying to limit the movement of activists and keep them out of the picture in all means necessary. These are miserable attempts to silence the protests that are rejecting the performance of the ruling political elites, who have dominated power for the past seventeen years, and we hold the Iraqi government and the security forces responsible as a result of its failure to protect the activists, and allowing the armed groups to tamper with the lives of Iraqis.
The Freedom of Expression Path
17 August 2020