On the evening of 2 May 2015, prominent Iraqi human rights activist Ammar Al Shahbander was killed during a terrorist attack in a lively commercial district in Baghdad. A car bomb exploded in the street targeting innocent people, our partner amongst them.
Hivos is overwhelmed with grief and shocked by this tragedy. Ammar was the long-standing Chief of Mission in Iraq for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) and co-founder of the Iraqi Peace Network ‘SalamCom’. He worked tirelessly to train journalists and photographers in the conflict-torn country that Iraq has become. He never stopped believing in a better future for the country where he was born in 1973.
The Hivos Women on the Frontline programme was grateful and happy when IWPR joined forces with us to strengthen the political participation of women in the Middle East and North Africa. We came to know Ammar as an extraordinarily well informed professional, totally dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as an honest guy with a charming smile.
Ammar leaves a wife and four children. Our thoughts were with him and his family – in particular on Remembrance Day in the Netherlands (4 May) – and will continue to be so. We also extend our deepest condolences to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting on the tragic loss of their beloved Iraq director.