A renowned Iraqi journalist has undergone brain surgery and remains in a critical condition after being shot by a gunman on Monday.
Journalist Ahmed Hassan is in intensive care at a hospital in the capital Baghdad after being shot on Monday in southern Iraq.
The attack came just 24 hours after anti-government activist Ihab al-Wazni was shot dead outside his home in the city of Karbala.
Al-Wazni’s death prompted street protests to call for an end to official impunity.
Hassan, who works for Al Forat satellite television, was gunned down as he arrived home at night near Al Diwaniyah and was taken to a hospital in Baghdad that specialises in neurological operations.
Hospital spokesperson Mohammed Mouyed stated: “Ahmed Hassan has been operated on and transferred to intensive care where he will be kept under constant surveillance for a critical period of two weeks.”
Mouyed added that the victim underwent several operations.
According to Arab News, around 30 activists have been killed – and dozens of others abducted or injured – in attacks since October 2019.
No one has owned up to the attacks, but protesters blame armed groups linked to Iran who have amassed great influence in the country.
Activists also accuse the government of failing to identify or arrest the perpetrators of the attacks.
Ammar al-Hakim, the owner of Al Forat and a Shiite politician, called on the government to “urgently” shed light on the killings and to “protect freedom of speech”.