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08/23/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Within the space of one week, two activists in Iraq were assassinated and three more barely escaped murder. Each of these events occurred in southern Iraq, and come almost a month after the high profile assassination of a scholar who specialized in paramilitary groups.

These events have caused an outcry of alarm by many Iraqis, who remember the frequency of targeted kidnappings and assassinations during the early 2000s. The latest series of incidents occur within a similar environment in that there is an increase of militia tension. In Iraq’s current domestic landscape, many of these militias are heavily backed by Iran.

For Christians, it is something which is observed with concern and frustration. The assassinations of activists send a clear message that speaking of human rights issues is intolerable by militias. The perpetrators of such incidents often go unpunished. Christians suffered significant human rights abuses during the genocide of ISIS, and the problems they currently face are largely driven by competing paramilitary factions. A spike of activist assassinations sends the message that speaking out about their challenges could come with serious consequences.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.