Fate of disappeared lawyer remains unknown

Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji
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On 1 October 2019, mass protests broke out across Iraq fuelled by high rates of unemployment and perceptions of widespread corruption. Peaceful protesters were met with unlawful and excessive force, including tear gas, live ammunition and sniper fire. In addition to unlawful killings of protesters, Iraqi security forces have beaten, arrested and forcibly disappeared activists, lawyers and journalists. There have been over 400 documented deaths and more than 19,000 injured since October. 

Amnesty International has been documenting cases of abduction and enforced disappearances of activists and journalists since the beginning of the protests. In the case of Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji, his family reported the incident to the local police station as well as the Iraq National Security Service (Amn al-Watani). Initially, local authorities told his family that they opened an investigation, but after the father filed a lawsuit before the Federal Court in Baghdad, the police claimed they did not have a court order to investigate.

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