Iraq: UN Mission condemns killings of activists in Basra
21 August 2020 - The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has strongly condemned the killing of two activists and attacks against others in the southern city of Basra, urging increased efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Riham Yacoub, a medical doctor, was killed on Wednesday. Her death came in the midst protests in the city, demanding accountability for the killing of another activist, Tahseen Oussama, who was murdered on 14 August.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and the head of the UN Mission, warned that the killings present a "serious threat to security and stability" in Basra, the nation's largest port.
"Basrawis should not live in such an atmosphere of terror and intimidation. Greater action by the authorities is urgently required," she said in a news release on Thursday.
"The full force of the law must be applied to find, apprehend and hold the perpetrators accountable, and to put an end to this cycle of violence," added the UN envoy.
UNAMI said that its human rights office received "credible reports" of two attempted targeted killings in Basra on 17 August when unidentified armed elements shot at a vehicle carrying three activists – including one woman – injuring two, who have been admitted to a hospital for treatment.
A vehicle, driven by another woman, was also shot at, but the attackers missed.
UNAMI also said while it acknowledges positive steps taken by the Government in response to the incidents, it urges further action to deliver justice, accountability and security.
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