On Thursday, the United States declared that it was outraged by the targeted assassinations of activists and attacks on protesters in Iraq after one day that Iraqi activist Dr. Reham Yacoub was assassinated by unknown gunmen in central Basra.
According to Al Arabiya’s Baghdad correspondent, Majid Hamid, Yacoub was one of four activists who were targeted and killed in Basra on Wednesday night, whereas one other activist was assassinated in the capital Baghdad.
A senior US official reported in a statement: It is unconscionable that the perpetrators of these horrible acts continue to act with impunity.
Since anti-government protests began last October, several Iraqi protesters and activists have been killed, arrested, and punished.
US State Department Spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus reported: We strongly support the right of Iraqis to assemble peacefully and express them, appealing the Iraqi government to hold accountable the militias, thugs, and criminal gangs attacking Iraqis exercising their right to peaceful protest. Over the recent rise in assassinations targeting civil rights activists in Iraq’s south on Thursday, Human rights monitors sounded the alarm.
A spokesman for the semi-official Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights, Ali al-Bayati, said: It seems that there is a well-programmed cleansing of activists who were influential in the last protest movement.