Iraqi authorities must investigate killing of politician

Amnesty International has called on the Iraqi authorities to investigate the killing of a politician in the northern city of Mosul on Monday.Bashar Mohammad Hamid al-‘Agaidi, who was recently elected to the Iraqi parliament, was shot in the chest outside his home by armed men. His driver is also said to have been injured.”The Iraqi authorities must investigate this killing and bring those responsible to justice in conformity with international law and without recourse to the death penalty,” said Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.”More must be done to protect the hundreds of civilians who are being killed or injured in increasing attacks by armed groups, as the ongoing uncertainty over when a new Iraqi government will be formed continues.”According to reports, one of the attackers has been arrested by the police.No group has so far said it carried out the attack.Bashar Mohammad Hamid al-‘Agaidi was elected to the Iraqi Parliament in the national elections held on 7 March 2010. He was a candidate for al-‘Iraqiyya List, led by former prime minister Iyad ‘Allawi, which won, narrowly, the largest number of seats but not an overall majority. The elections did not produce any clear winner and the leading political parties have so far failed to agree on who should be forming the next government.This political and security vacuum is being exploited by armed groups fighting against Iraqi and US forces who have intensified their suicide bombing campaign.In the run-up to the elections and after, hundreds of civilians, including political activists, journalists, women and members of ethnic and religious minorities, have been killed by armed groups.On 27 April 2010 Amnesty International issued Iraq: Civilians Under Fire, a detailed report focusing on the plight of civilians in Iraq.