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Iraq: Nearly 70 activists missing since start of popular movement

Iraq High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) announced on Saturday documenting the kidnapping and missing of about 68 activists, against the backdrop of the popular movement that the country has been witnessing since the beginning of October.

The IHCHR (an official commission affiliated to the parliament) said in a statement that “the total statistics of kidnapped and missing people officially documented by the offices of our commission amounted to 68 kidnapping and missing cases on the backdrop of the demonstrations.”

“The rest of those whose fate is not yet disclosed so far is 56 activists after the release of 12 activists from Karbala two weeks ago,” added the IHCHR.

The Commission further mentioned in its statement that it is following up “with the Ministry of Interior’s anti-kidnapping cell the efforts to reveal the fate of the remaining people and release them soon.”

Activists in protests against the government and the ruling political elite have been subjected to coordinated attacks, such as assassinations, kidnappings and torture in secret locations, since the eruption of the protests.

These attacks have been intensified in recent weeks, while the government has repeatedly pledged to prosecute those responsible for these operations, but without actual results on the ground.

Activists accuse militants of pro-Iran Shiite factions of being behind these operations, which the factions have been denying.