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Rights Group Calls on Iraq to Investigate Killing of Journalist

Iraq – Protest, Baghdad, 09Sep2011

Iraq – Protest, Baghdad, 09Sep2011

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling on Iraqi authorities to investigate the killing of a journalist who criticized the government and helped organize pro-reform protests.

Hadi al-Mehdi was shot dead in his Baghdad home on September 8 by assailants using silenced guns. Dozens of people turned out today to mourn Mehdi.

HRW says Mehdi had informed his friends of death threats he had received recently from unknown people.

Mehdi was one of four Iraqi journalists who said they were abducted by Iraqi Army soldiers after an antigovernment demonstration as part of pro-democracy and anti-corruption protests that broke out across Iraq in February.

He said he was blindfolded, doused with water, and subjected to electric shocks.

Mehdi was known for his sharp critiques of government ineptitude and corruption, and hosted a popular radio talk how, "To Whoever Listens," that was broadcast in Baghdad.

He also wrote commentaries for several websites and was a theater director.

Reported by RFE's Watchdog blog and agency reports.