Cairo – 10 September 2011
ANHRI condemned today the killing of the theatrical media professional Hadi Al-Mahdi, few days after having published on his personal Facebook account that he had been receiving anonymous threats because of his involvement in the popular protests in Iraq.
Iraqi police found Al-Mahdi’s body on Thursday 8 September, killed in his apartment in Baghdad only one day before the demonstrations organized by the civil powers on Friday 9 September, protesting at the failure of the authorities to meet the popular demands for change, reform, and the provision of basic services to the citizens.
Al-Mahdi was one of the most prominent activists calling for these popular protests since their outbreak last February. He was arrested by the security forces following one of these protests and was beaten. Subsequently, he filed a complaint to the Supreme Judicial Council, in which he mentioned his kidnapping and detainment without a judicial permission, and blamed any danger he or his family may encounter on the General Commander of the Armed Forces.
It is worth noting that the last thing Al-Mahdi posted on his Facebook account before his assassination was that he was living a state of terror due to the threats he had been receiving from anonymous, stressing his support and participation in the demonstrations without representing any party or stream, but only as an expression of the miserable reality in Iraq, as he described it.
“The Iraqi authorities bear full responsibility for the assassination of the theatrical and media professional Hadi Al-Mahdi, and have to explain his killing a few hours before the demonstrations which he was one of the most prominent figures calling for, and to also explain the negligence of his protection despite his declaration of the several threats he had been receiving from anonymous people because of these demonstrations.” Said ANHRI.
ANHRI added “It is deeply regrettable that a citizen gets killed because of his opinions, no matter what they are. Even though we cannot get Al-Mahdi back to life, we can take it seriously in order to prevent similar brutal attack on freedom of expression by having the Iraqi authorities launching a fair and transparent investigation and prosecuting those responsible for the killing of Al-Mahdi, regardless of his authority or position, so as to eradicate any sort of impunity.”