Iraq: Journalist and security expert Dr. Hisham Al-Hashemi assassinated in front of his house in Baghdad
On 06 July 2020, an armed group riding two motorcycles shot journalist and well-known security expert Dr. Hisham Al-Hashemi in front of his house in the Zayouna area in the capital, Baghdad. After sustaining several gunshot wounds, including to his head, he died in Ibn Al-Nafees Hospital, where he was taken after the attack.
Local sources have confirmed that Dr. Al-Hashemi had received repeated threats in recent weeks from armed groups due to his participation in various television programs, talking about the illegal activities of armed militias in Iraq. Shortly before his assassination, he appeared on a television program in which he spoke about armed militias dedicating themselves to the concept of non-statehood by controlling important security and executive positions and seeking to block any serious efforts to build the Iraqi state on legitimate foundations. In March 2020, the false news of his assassination was circulated on social media networks, soon denied by Dr. Al-Hashemi himself.
On 05 July 2020, he wrote on his Twitter account, which he used to courageously express his personal opinions about public affairs concerning citizens, saying, "Between prestige and sovereignty, the rights, blood and dignity of Iraqis have been lost, and their money has gone into the pockets of corrupt politicians."
Dr. Al-Hashemi was born in Baghdad in 1973 and received a BSc. from the Department of Statistics at the College of Administration and Economics, and a Phd in political science from the University of Baghdad. He has written a large number of newspaper articles and has pursued research on extremist groups in Iraq since 1997, becoming an expert in their origins, ideology, activities, and sober researcher in extremism and terrorist affairs.
He also worked on preserving heritage manuscripts and authored a number of books, including a book, "An Overview of Al-Qaeda's History in Iraq." He worked in various jobs, including as a security consultant for both the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory and the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate.
On 07 July 2020, a gathering was organised in Al-Tahrir Square, which denounced his assassination, accompanied by a symbolic funeral procession and a candle march around the square. Other sit-in squares paid tribute to him across Iraq.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) expresses its deep sorrow at the death of Hisham Al-Hashemi, and condemns in the strongest terms his assassination. GCHR also extends heartfelt condolences to his family. The Iraqi government bears full responsibility for this assassination and other operations that have taken place against journalists and activists, and the authorities must expose the perpetrators as quickly as possible and bring them to a fair trial.