Iraqi writer gunned down following criticism of Karbala militias

Iraqi writer gunned down following criticism of Karbala militias
Iraqi writer Alaa Mashthob Abboud has been shot dead in Karbala.
2 min read
03 February, 2019
The writer was shot 13 times by gunmen [Getty]
Iraqi writer Alaa Mashzoub Abboud was gunned down in Karbala on Saturday, despite heavy security in the holy Shia-Muslim city.

The gunmen shot Abboud 13 times, killing him instantly, according to activists, with police launching an investigation into the murder.

"Gunmen fired several bullets before fleeing to an unknown destination," a police statement read, according to The New Arab's Arabic-language daily.

Abboud was murdered outside his house by unknown gunmen, which follows the novelist's criticism of corruption in Iraq and militia leaders, although it is not yet known if this is connected the case.

Abboud received a masters and PhD from the University of Baghdad, and went on to write for a number for a number of newspapers in Iraq.

He was also a novelist, and probably best-known for The Chaos of the Nation, along with working as a director for short films.

"The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the assassination of Dr. Alaa Mashthob Abboud and expresses its deep concern over the violation of the right to freedom of expression, including the murder of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and bloggers who continue their work bravely despite the risks of violence," said the activist group.

"GCHR notes that ongoing impunity in the murders of journalists and writers in Iraq allows a culture of violence to continue. The authors of such crimes as well as the perpetrators must be brought to justice."

Although Karbala remains a relatively secure city due to heavy security, other cities in Iraq have seen a number of activists and celebrities shot dead.

Model Tara Fares was gunned down in Baghdad last year, bringing attention to women's rights activists and others by militias that are active and in control of large parts of Iraq.