Kidnapped Iraqi anti-corruption activists released

Unknown gunmen kidnapped seven anti-corruption activists, last week, in the middle of the night in central Baghdad. While kidnappings have now become common in Iraq, these were particularly targeted. All the men were involved in organising the anti-corruption demonstrations that have regularly taken place in Baghdad since mid-2015. Participants at these demonstrations have numbered in the hundreds of thousands but they have also faced repression in the streets, with many injured and killed. Social activists believe that these kidnappings are meant to act as a deterrent and to send a message to opposition activists. Their quick release and the Government’s involvement, is now shrouded in mystery.