Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Election Workers Targeted in Baaqubah

By Aqil Jabbar in Baaqubah (ICR No. 108, 01-Feb-05)

The victim was Thamar al-Hashimi, who had been kidnapped while he was leaving his home on election day, January 30, said police officer Uday al-Khafaji.

The body was found in the Mafraq area of Baaqubah, the provincial capital of Diyala governorate to the east and northeast of Baghdad.

Al-Hashimi’s family declined to talk to IWPR.

Al-Khafajy said there have been other attempts to kidnap or assassinate election workers or their family members.

There was a high voter turnout in Baaqubah, but violence continued even as voters went to the polls, with sounds of explosions and gunfire erupting sporadically.

Now residents in Baaqubah are trying to wash the purple ink used during the voting process from their fingers, after at least four voters had their fingers shot off by masked men.

An electoral commission official said the ink could not be removed for 48 hours after it was applied.

“I used bleach to remove the ink, but after one minute the dark colour came back,” said Muaiyad Salam, a 28-year-old taxi driver.

Aqil Jabbar is an IWPR trainee journalist in Iraq.