On August 17, Iraqi activists Lodia Remon, Abbas Subhi and Fahd al-Zubaidi were heading to the mourning ceremony for fellow activist Tahseen Oussama, who was killed in the southern city of Basra three days earlier, when armed men attacked them. Remon was shot in the leg and Subhi in the chest.
“I survived by a miracle. I still cannot stand on my feet and until now I am in shock,” Remon told Al Jazeera. Subhi, who required surgery, also survived.
Two days later, Reham Yacoub, a close friend of Remon and a fellow activist, was shot dead in her car, sparking public anger and demonstrations in several Iraqi cities. The murder attempt and the death of close friends have taken a toll on Remon, who is a member of Basra’s small Christian community.
“I think that I have lost a large part of my dreams and my aspirations for the first time in my life. I feel I have lost my courage and fear has taken over. The psychological pain is so much worse than the physical pain,” she said.
Activists and protest organisers have been targeted this month in several other southern and central provinces, which have witnessed anti-government protests for more than a year. An estimated 700 protesters have been killed and dozens of activists and government critics murdered.