Iraqi activist Khaled Al Awadi released after three-month disappearance

Iraqi activist Khaled Al Awadi released after three-month disappearance

On October 30, 2019, Khaled Al Awadi was taking a taxi home from demonstrations in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square when he disappeared. Al Awadi’s mobile phone was then switched off shortly afterwards. On February 6, 2020, Al Awadi was released.
Latest Updates
February 6, 2020: Al Awadi is released.
January 28, 2020: The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances request that the Iraqi authorities take urgent action to locate Al Awadi, place him under the protection of the law, and identify the perpetrators.
January 27, 2020: MENA Rights Group and the Iraqi War Crimes Documentation Center request the urgent intervention of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances.
November 1, 2019: Family files a complaint at the Anti-Crime Office in Karada, to no avail.
October 30, 2019: Al Awadi disappears at Jadriya Bridge, Baghdad.

Khaled Al Awadi is an Iraqi activist who was present at the demonstrations in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square during October 2019. In the early hours of October 30, 2019, a 4x4 vehicle attempted to hit Al Awadi at Andalus Square in Baghdad. He was then pursued by two individuals in civilian clothes, carrying weapons, before escaping and returning to Tahrir Square at approximately 1 a.m.

Later that same day, Al Awadi took a taxi home from Tahrir Square. At Jadriya Bridge he called his family to let them know that he was five minutes away. However, he never arrived back home and his mobile phone was switched off soon thereafter.

Al Awadi’s family believe that he was abducted at Jadriya Bridge. Recently, a rising number of abductions by Iraqi security forces and militias, acting with the authorisation, support, acquiescence or approval of the Iraqi Government, have been reported in Baghdad and are indicative of a pattern of enforced disappearances targeting peaceful anti-government demonstrators.

Following his abduction, Al Awadi’s family filed a criminal complaint at the Anti-Crime Office in Karada, but to no avail. On January 27, 2020, MENA Rights Group and the Iraqi War Crimes Documentation Center requested the urgent intervention of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, urging that the Iraqi authorities take urgent action to locate him, place him under the protection of the law, and identify the perpetrators.

On February 6, 2020, Al Awadi was released.