Fate of activist Sajad al-Iraqi still unknown, despite allegations of being murdered 

Fate of activist Sajad al-Iraqi still unknown, despite allegations of being murdered 
3 min read
06 July, 2022
Iraqi social media users say that an Iraqi activist, being missing for two years, has been killed by pro-Iran militias in Iraq.”  
nti-government protesters draped in Iraqi national flags walk into clouds of smoke from burning tires during a demonstration in the southern city of Basra on 17 November 2019. [Getty Image]

The fate of Sajad al-Iraqi, an Iraqi activist missing for two years now, has returned to the spotlight after unconfirmed reports emerged and were circulated on social media that he was killed by "pro-Iran militias in Iraq". 

The rumours surrounding the activist's final fate came as Iraqis also commemorate the second anniversary of the killing of an Iraqi security expert named Hisham al-Hashimi. It is being said that the activist has been abducted by pro-Iran militias in Iraq in September 2020 in Said Dakhil sub-district of Nasiriyah city in Southern Dhi Qar governorate.

"In a security operation by the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service, to free Sajad al-Iraqi, in Said Dakhil area, an Iraqi clan did not let the mission completed," Iraqi activist Omar al-Janabi claimed in a tweet. "Today, there is a semi-official report that talks about the abduction and killing of Sajad in Said Dakhil, with the killers transferred into Iran. Family and friends of Sajad previously have disclosed the names of the perpetrators."  

"Iraqi PM, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, received a report that confirmed the killing of activist Sajad al-Iraqi by an armed group when they abducted him during the protests. The report confirms that the killers were sent to outside of Iraq," Mohamed al-Kobaysi, an Iraqi journalist also wrote on Twitter.

The New Arab contacted Hassan Nadhim, an official spokesperson for the Iraqi government, as well as Arshad al-Salihi, head of the human rights commission in the Iraqi parliament, for comments on the claims but they were not immediately available at the time of this writing. 

Meanwhile, the Iraqi state media has published a statement by Mohammed Hadi, head of the high-security committee in Dhi Qar governorate, in which he denied that any reports on the activist's death was sent to the Iraqi PM. 

"We refute allegations on Sajad's killing or his current fate. We pray to Allah that he soon returns to his family," part of the statement said.  

On Wednesday, the Iraqis will mark the second anniversary of the assassination of Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on both Sunni and Shia jihadist groups including the Islamic State and Iran-backed groups.

Al-Hashimi was shot dead by an unidentified gunman outside his home in eastern Baghdad on July 6, 2020. The court has yet to make its decision in the trial against Ahmed Al-Kinani, who confessed in front of the Iraqi state media television that he had killed Al-Hashimi.

Public protests in October 2019 swept the southern and central provinces of Iraq. Protesters were demanding better living conditions, amendments to the country's election law, and holding early elections.

More than 600 people were killed by Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated to Iran. Consequently, Iraq's then-elected prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was forced to resign and Mustafa al-Kadhimi was appointed as PM to pave the way for snap elections that were held in October last year.