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Waleed Abdi

Waleed Abdi

HRD, Lawyer

Waleed Abdi is a lawyer and human rights defender in Iraq. He runs the organization, Salamatak, for the defense of human rights in Iraq, an organization specializing in the empowerment and protection in the field of digital rights for human rights defenders and organizations. He is also a legal expert with the American Bar Association / center for Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa. He worked with many local organizations as a human rights researcher. He works on monitoring trials against human rights defenders and NGOs in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Previously, he worked on monitoring violations of sexual violence committed by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant against women and girls in Iraq.


Since October 2019, a new wave of peaceful demonstrations have been organised in Iraq unifying different ethnic and political groups, following years of protest movements by different sectors of society. The demonstrations were led by Iraqi human rights defenders protesting the government itself as well as non-state armed and political groups, endemic corruption, economic struggle and to demand basic and functioning state services. Police, military and armed groups quashed these demonstrations with lethal force, suppressing their rights to assembly and free speech. Live ammunition was used against peaceful protesters, which resulted in the death of hundreds of demonstrators including many human rights defenders while others were abducted and attacked.