Iraq court sentences two to death for killing protester

Iraq court sentences two to death for killing protester
2 min read
02 November, 2021
The two individuals, who were not identified, had "confessed to the murder" of Moujtaba Ahmed, who was shot in the head during demonstrations in the southern province of Basra, the council said in a statement.
Large-scale protests erupted across much of Iraq in October 2019 [Getty]

An Iraqi court sentenced two people to death over the killing of a teenager who took part in anti-government protests last year, the Supreme Judicial Council said on Tuesday.

The two individuals, who were not identified, had "confessed to the murder" of Moujtaba Ahmed, who was shot in the head during demonstrations in the southern province of Basra, the council said in a statement.

They were sentenced to death by hanging by a court in Basra. The convicts have 30 days to appeal the verdict. A decree authorising their execution must also be signed by President Barham Saleh.

Large-scale protests erupted across much of Iraq in October 2019 and continued for months, venting popular anger over poor governance, crumbling public services and widespread corruption.

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Over 600 people were killed during the demonstrations, which grew to demand an overhaul of the entire political system.

On Monday, the same court sentenced another man to death over the killing of two journalists covering the demonstrations in Basra in January 2020.

In addition, a number of activists and public figures died in targeted assassinations, including former government adviser Hisham al-Hashemi, who was shot near his home in July 2020.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has repeatedly vowed to bring the killers to justice.

Government advisers previously told AFP that those targeting the activists were from paramilitary organisations without naming the groups.