After the release of the environmental activist Jassim Al-Asadi, there is a concerning governmental silence.
In 15th of the current March, the environmental activist (Jassim Al-Asadi) was released, after 15 days of his kidnapping by an anonymous armed group, in the southern entrance of the Capital Baghdad, as he stated in a voice record by the government. And Jassim Al-Asadi is considered one of the prominent environmental activists, where he has a lot of activities and urging actions to maintain the Iraqi Environment, especially the Marshes in southern Iraq.
The campaign followed up official statements and movements related to this topic, during the enforced disappearance of Mr.Jassim Al-Asadi, but after his release we did not see any details about the kidnapping, who are the kidnappers, and will they hold them responsible, unfortunately until the time of preparing this statement, the Iraqi government or any other official authorities, with any clarification related to this issue.
The case of kidnapping Mr. Jassim Al-Asadi, brings flashbacks to the cases of enforced disappearance that other activists and human rights defenders were exposed to, such as Mazin Latteef, and Tawfiq Al-Tamimi, since the October Uprising of 2019, at a time where no clear results were found for the governmental investigating committees, or any procedures taken for the ones who caused it.
The Kidnapping situation of Jassim Al-Asadi, came after 100 days of the forming of the government, which has promised a bunch of commitments, in the official international day of human rights in the 10th of the last December, where Prime Minister Mr. Mohammed Shiaa’ Al-Sudani pointed out a national plan for Human Rights 2021 – 2025 in Iraq, “And to make necessary efforts to promote the culture of human rights” in the country. He also pledged to provide “protection for the general freedoms and to look after the cases of human rights”.
We in the campaign of (Protect Human Rights Defenders in Iraq, NOW!) we express our severe concern on the future of human rights and its decency, also on the civic space and what it provides of freedom of opinion expression in all possible peaceful means. As well as the conditions of the human rights defenders in Iraq, and what the activists are exposed to from limitation and chasing by the armed and unarmed groups. And the governmental procedures are not compatible to the size of these violations.
We demand the Iraqi government, to take necessary actions to enforce the authority of law, to respect the human rights and freedom of expression, and to ensure the safety of human rights defenders, and to handle the case of the enforced disappearance, chasing and threatening of activists in a serious manner. We also urge the international society to support all the initiatives that tackle the insurance of respecting the human rights and freedom of expression, and to advocate the patriotism spirit to achieve the social justice and democracy promotion.
“Protect Human Rights Defenders in Iraq, NOW!” Campaign
22nd of February 22, 2023