Outspoken Iraqi novelist Alaa Mashzoub was killed on Saturday, after receiving 13 bullets in his head, few steps away from his house in Karbala,100 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, according to news reports.
The assassination of Mashzoub, while the motive has not been revealed yet, triggered by Iraqi citizens and intellectuals, denouncing the endless series of brutal killings by pro-Iran militias that had become a normal incident in Iraqi streets.
Mashzoub was born in 1968, and graduated from the Baghdad College of Fine Arts, University of Baghdad in 1992-1993 and got a Master of Fine Arts in 2008-2009 and a PhD in the same field in 2013-2014.
He was a member of the Iraqi Union of Artists and the Federation of Journalists of Iraq, the Writers Union, and the Iraqi Council for Peace and Solidarity.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) Sunday issued a statement condemning the assassination, expressing its “deep concern over the violation of the right of freedom of expression, including the murder of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and bloggers who continue their work bravely despite the risks of violence.
Mashzoub wrote for variety of newspapers as well several novels, including The Chaos of the Nation (2014) Crime on Facebook (2015), and The Jewish Baths (2017). He had been recognized by a number of filmmaking and writing prizes, including a Katara Prize for Arabic Fiction and a prize for his documentary film, Doors and Windows.
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.”
Why every Iran-critic gets killed?
Mashzoub was an outspoken critic to the Iranian presence in Iraq, where he took to the social media to express his objection the Iranian militias in Iraq and the Mullah Regime and its so-called Islamic revolution in general.
"I have this blur idea about the alley Khomeini used to live at in Iraq called Akad al-Sada. This man had lived in Iraq between Najaf and Karbala for 13 years! Before being deported to Kuwait, which refused to welcome him, then he headed for Paris to settle down. Years later, he exported his revolution to Iran through cassette tapes (Khomeini revolution used to be called the Cassette Revolution). He then launched war against the country that hosted him in the past."
Those were Mashzoub's words through his Facebook personal account on Jan. 17, which may indicate to who carried a gun and killed that peaceful writer and activist.
In September last year, a female human rights activist was shot dead in the southern city of Basra, which has seen violent anti-government protests.
Video posted online appears to show an unidentified man opening fire at Suad al-Ali as she gets into a car near a supermarket in the Abbasiya area.
In the same month, Iraqi social media star and model Tara Fares was shot dead in Baghdad.
The former Miss Baghdad, and first runner-up for Miss Iraq, was killed after gunmen opened fire on her in the capital's Camp Sarah neighborhood, according to a statement by Iraq's Interior Ministry.
Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Saad Maan told an Iraqi TV station that two motorcyclists shot Fares while she was inside a vehicle.
In May, ISIS claimed responsibility for the assassination of a candidate in Iraq's parliamentary election just days ahead of the polls.
Faruq Zarzur al-Jabouri, a candidate loyal to Vice President Ayad Allawi, was shot dead by gunmen at his home near Mosul, the former IS bastion in northern Iraq, a local official said.
Local official Salah al-Jabouri said the gunmen killed the candidate at his home in the town of Qayyarah, 70km south of Mosul, after storming his house.
In a statement on the messaging app Telegram, the militant group said Jabouri was killed because he was "an atheist".