Targeted killing of Iraqi university professors persists

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

The official website of CEOSI (Spanish Campaign against the Occupation for the Sovereignty of Iraq) has been denouncing for some years the campaign of selective murders against the academicians of Iraq. By August 2011 there had already been recorded the assassination of 317 academics.

For example, on March 26, 2011, Zaid Abdulmonem Ali, from the University of Baghdad, was killed by a bomb attached to his car. Three days later, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Mohammed Al-Awan, was shot to death while he was leaving his office at a hospital in Baghdad. Another four professors were murdered during the previous weeks.

These facts seem to be evidence of an operation of selective murders, not isolated cases. Before the end of July 2011, the death of three more professors where documented: Yasser Ahmed Sheet , Vice Dean of Arts at Mosul University, Ismail Jalil Al-Mahdawi, professor of Education at Diyal University, and Ibrahim Shaeer Jabbar Al-Jumaili, Professor of Pediatrics at Kirkuk University. They all were killed near their homes while commuting to work. In many other cases, the exact place and date of the murder are unknown. The lists of selectively murdered academicians number at least 317 cases. This list does not include other groups suffering analogous persecutions, such as health workers or college and school directors.

This phenomenon has not received enough coverage in the western corporae media, or it has been treated as a series of isolated and unrelated events. Nonetheless, many academic institutions and leaders — such as the General Assembly of the Conference of Spanish University Rectors (CRUE), the International Association for Middle Eastern Studies (IAMES), the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES), and many personalities, including Nobel-prize winners John M. Coetzee and Harold Pinter — have denounced the attacks as part of a coordinated, well-planned operation.


Title: “Lista de docentes universitarios asesinados en Iraq durante el período de ocupación”

Publication: Iraq Solidarity

Date: 21 August 2011



Student Researcher: Miguel Álvarez-Peralta, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Faculty Evaluator: Ana I. Segovia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid