Four years since Ali Jasseb Hattab Al-Heliji has forcibly disappeared
9 oktober 2023

Four years since Ali Jasseb Hattab Al-Heliji has forcibly disappeared


Today, Monday 9 October, marks four years since the disappearance of lawyer Ali Jasseb Hattab-Al-Heliji. On 8 October 2019, armed men suspected of belonging to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) abducted Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji, a lawyer representing arrested protesters, in Baghdad, Iraq. Since then, Ali Jaseb Hattab al-Heliji’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Mr. Al-Heliji is a prominent human rights lawyer and Advocates for the Protesters Rights Commission member. It has been reported that Mr. Al-Heliji received a call from a client asking to meet him in a central area of the Ammarahin al-Mayssan governate on 8 October 2019. Mr. Al-Heliji met with the client on the same day. Shortly after meeting the client, armed men reportedly dragged him away from his car and drove him away in one of the trucks.

In March 2021 the father of Mr. Al-Heliji was killed after having sought justice for his son’s disappearance. This action was further condemned by UN human rights experts who called for “more to be urgently done to establish the fate and whereabouts of Mr. Ali Al Heliji”.In November 2020, several UN experts also previously wrote to the Government of Iraq regarding the enforced disappearance of Mr. Al Heliji.

Despite significant efforts calling on the Iraqi authorities to 1) use all resources at their disposal to find Mr. Al- Haliji 2) secure his safe release and 3) prompt and independent investigations into his disappearance, it remains unknown what initial steps the authorities have taken to address the above demands.

Up to this day, four years after his disappearance the whereabouts of Mr. Al-Haliji remain unknown.