Iraq: Iraqi Writers: Iraqs Religious, Political Establishment Is Failing To Protect Womens Lives, Ensure Public Safety
Baghdad - In the recent months, there have been a number of murders and suspected murders of high-profile Iraqi women. In August 2018, two prominent women in Iraqs beauty industry died in mysterious circumstances: on August 16 plastic surgeon Dr. Rafif Al-Yasiri was found dead. The owner of a plastic surgery and laser operations center in Baghdad, she was a very well-known figure in Iraq with millions of followers on social media, and in March 2018 had been appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the French Organization for Human Rights. On August 23, 2018, Rasha Al-Hassan, also a well-known beautician and owner of a coffee shop for women in Baghdad, was hospitalized and died shortly afterwards. Various rumors circulated regarding the cause of death, including high blood pressure and poisoning. One month later, on September 25, human rights activist Souad Al-Ali was shot dead. She was the founder of the World Friendship Organization for Human Rights, and in recent months she participated in protests in her native governorate of Basra over the governments neglect of the governorate and failure to provide services to its residents. On September 27, former beauty queen and social media star Tara Fares was shot dead as well. She had frequently stirred public controversy in Iraq by posting pictures on social media that some considered bold.