Justice pending: Iraqis mark second anniversary of Hisham al-Hashimi's assassination  

Justice pending: Iraqis mark second anniversary of Hisham al-Hashimi's assassination  
Two years after the assassination of Hisham al-Hashimi, a well-known and widely respected researcher, the Iraqi judiciary is under scrutiny for how it has dealt with this case.
3 min read
07 July, 2022
Hisham al-Hashimi was shot dead by gunmen outside his home in eastern Baghdad on 6 July 2020. [Getty Image]

Iraqis on Wednesday marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Iraqi researcher Hisham al-Hashimi and criticised the judiciary for failing to bring the perpetrators to justice.  

Al-Hashimi, a security expert on both Sunni and Shia jihadist groups including the Islamic State and Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, had been an active speaker for the local and the international media. He was shot dead by gunmen outside his home in eastern Baghdad on 6 July 2020.   

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi vowed to bring Hashimi's killers to justice, but after two years of the assassination, the court has yet to make its decision in the trial against Ahmed Al-Kinani, a former officer in the Iraqi interior ministry who confessed on Iraqi state media television that he had killed Al-Hashimi. 

Iraqi social media users alleged that the main perpetrator has been smuggled out of prison and that is the main reason why the court often adjourns the trial sessions.  

Mahmoud Al-Najjar, an Iraqi researcher and journalist, posted a photo of himself and Al-Hashimi on Twitter with a caption reading the killer of Al-Hashimi still enjoys impunity.    

According to a recent investigation, published Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister outlet, Al-Kinani is close to pro-Iran Shia militia Kataeb Hezbollah, and he has been extradited outside of Iraq.   

A court session is scheduled to take place late this month, but legal sources have told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that "Political sides and armed groups are always pressing Iraq's judiciary to postpone the trial on pretexts on the lack of adequate proofs, and hindering the process of investigating Al-Kinani again in order to sabotage the dossier." 

The New Arab has contacted the Supreme Iraqi Judicial Council via email but has not received a response by the time of publishing this news story.

TNA also contacted Hassan Nadhim, an official spokesperson for the Iraqi government, but he was not immediately available at the time of this writing. 

While Kataeb Hezbollah denied any link to the assassination, it often deployed its forces outside the prime minister's official residence as an indication that they are more powerful than the Iraqi government.

Hisham al-Hashimi – formerly known as Hisham al-Rikabi – was born in Baghdad to a Shia Arab family in 1973.  

Hashimi's criticisms of powerful pro-Iran groups like Kataeb Hezbollah led to him receiving numerous death threats in the weeks preceding his assassination. Hashimi even approached a friend, Ghaith al-Tamimi, and asked him for advice on how to deal with the death threats mere hours before he was gunned down outside his home in Zayouna, eastern Baghdad.