Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 23 APR 2014
10:12 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Angry Iraqis mourn slain journalist, call for reforms
Agence France Presse
A+ A-

BAGHDAD: Iraqis mourned Friday a journalist who had been gunned down in Baghdad, expressing anger over his death and protesting for reforms a day after the country’s anti-corruption chief resigned.

An Interior Ministry official said Thursday that journalist Hadi al-Mehdi was shot dead at about 6:30 p.m. in an apartment on Abu Nawas Street, with a silenced weapon. A medical source at Ibn al-Nafis hospital confirmed his death.

Dozens of people turned out Friday to mourn Mehdi, marching from his home in Karrada in central Baghdad with a symbolic coffin covered in an Iraqi flag, toward Tahrir Square.

Protests calling for improved public services, which Mehdi supported, were being held at the square Friday.

“The martyr [Mehdi] was one of the activists in the movement against corruption and the curbing of rights and freedoms, through Facebook and through demonstrations in Tahrir Square,” activist Zahir al-Jamaa said.

“He was always stressing the need to reject any violation of the constitution and the law.”

“The silenced weapon assassinates everything in my country,” the mourners chanted as they marched.

Hattem Hashem, a mourner who had an Iraqi flag draped over his shoulders, said: “The voice of Hadi will not be silenced, despite his assassination with a silenced weapon.”

The mourners, who also carried photographs of Mehdi, were prevented by security forces from continuing with the symbolic coffin, and had to leave it behind.

Mehdi was well known for his sharp critiques of government ineptitude and graft on his show on Demozee radio, and he also wrote commentaries for several websites and was a playwright.

He was detained and allegedly tortured along with other journalists by security forces following a protest in Baghdad in February.

Human Rights Watch condemned Mehdi’s killing in a statement Friday.

It said the “Iraqi authorities should conduct an immediate, full, and transparent investigation into the Sept. 8, 2011 killing of Hadi al-Mehdi … and prosecute those responsible.”

Including the mourners, a total of about 300 people protested at Tahrir Square Friday. Some chanted slogans including “Brothers, Sunni and Shiite, we’re not going to sell this country” and “We will prevent anyone from taking away our rights.”

Protests were also held in other Iraqi cities.

In the southern port of Basra, about 500 people protested at the provincial council headquarters, calling on authorities to fight corruption and provide better services. One banner carried by protesters read: “Where are your promises to reform the regime?”

About 750 people demonstrated in Hilla in central Iraq, chanting slogans including, “These jobless people are against the failed regime.”

One banner asked the government: “What happened to your promises?”

And about 100 people protested in the shrine city of Najaf, chanting slogans including “No, no to corruption!”

Small demonstrations were also held in the disputed northern city of Kirkuk and the central city of Diwaniyah.

The protests came a day after Iraq’s anti-corruption chief resigned, citing political interference.

“Rahim Hassan al-Uqailee, the head of the Integrity Commission, submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, due to pressure from political parties,” an Integrity Commission spokesman told AFP Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Public services in Iraq are poor, especially electricity, with people receiving just a few hours of government grid power per day.

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International rates Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. 

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 10, 2011, on page 8.
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 22, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS