IKV Pax Christi strongly condemns the assassination of Jalal Dhiab, director of the ‘Ansar al-Huriyya’ association, which took place in al-Zubayr, Basra province, on Friday 26 April.
Jalal Dhiab was a representative of the Iraqi black minority community and an outspoken advocate for human rights, freedom of speech and freedom of association in Iraq. He promoted the political representation and emancipation of minorities, in particular of his own community.
IKV Pax Christi also strongly condemns the assassination attempt of young provincial council candidate and colleague of Mr. Dhiab, Amar Al-Mantifij, who fortunately survived the attempt.
IKV Pax Christi calls upon the Iraqi authorities to investigate this targeted killing and bring the prepetrators to justice. Freedom of association and freedom of speech are the cornerstones of a democratic society and essential for the work of civil society in any country. The protection of these freedoms and the people that promote them should be a priority of the Iraqi government, and all possible efforts to fight impunity of crimes against human rights defenders should be taken immediately.