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Monday, May 15, 2006

Iraq: The Assassination of Academics : The Jalili Report

By Sarah Meyer

This article originally published 4/5/2006.

A conference recently took place in Madrid which focused on the 190 murdered academics and 224 murdered health officials in Iraq since the occupation. CEOSI (Statewide Campaign to End the Occupation and Restore the Sovereignty of Iraq) hosted the conference. CEOSI was supported by the respected BRussels Tribunal. Both of these organizations have taken an interest in collating information concerning the criminal assassination of highly esteemed intellectuals in Iraq. A petition, URGENT APPEAL TO SAVE IRAQ'S ACADEMICS can be found at The final resolution of the Madrid conference may also be found here, along with a wealth of information which world leaders and Mainstream Media ignore – to the detriment of “democracy and freedom.”

Dr. Ismail Jalili, who is on the advisory committee of the BRussels Tribunal, gave a detailed presentation about the assassinations (see below) at the Madrid conference.

Dr. Ismail Jalili is an Iraqi living and working in England. “I was a student in medical school in Baghdad. I was also the editor of a medical school journal. The security forces arrested me in 1969 and took me to Qasr el-Nihaya (Palace of Termination) because I was a political activist. I suffered political detention for a few months. I was tortured. After I was released, I decided to leave for Cairo. If I had stayed, I would have had to co-operate at the expense of my integrity, and be subjected to ongoing arrests. This was before I graduated, so I had to lose a year in the process of moving medical schools. In Cairo, I completed my studies and graduated in 1971. After graduation, I came directly to the UK to do post graduate studies. I started training in surgery. However, because there was a shortage of ophthalmologists in Iraq (there was only one), I decided to study and train in this field in the United Kingdom. I married; we have two sons.

I have friends and relatives who have been suffering for a very long time - first with the sanctions, and now with the lack of security following the invasion in Iraq. I feel helpless.”

However, Dr. Jalili does not respond in a ‘helpless’ manner. I have rarely met such an active and involved person. In spite of his recent operation, he has a large workload. “I work in several fields,” he said. As well as his involvement with the BRussels Tribunal, his kudos include:

  1. Past President of the Iraqi Medical Association in the United Kingdom

  2. Member of the Executive Council of the British Arab Medical Association, Founding member and Past President.

  3. Chairman of the National Association of British Arabs

  4. Chairman of the Stamford Liberal Democrats and Vice Chair of the Grantham & Stamford Constituency Party

Dr. Jalili is currently focusing his efforts on the plight of Iraqi doctors and academics and the deteriorating human rights situation in Iraq.

I asked him why he chose this focus. “It is an obligation and a commitment. I am most interested in the human rights issues of Iraq, and focusing on the academic and medical assassinations, threats to life and the pressure on them to leave Iraq. There are so many challenges – Iraq, Palestine, the rest of the diaspora. We have an obligation to lead the way.”

Following is Dr Jalili's report, published with his permission.

The Jalili Report on the Assassination of Academics

Plight of Iraqi Academics
Presentation by Dr Ismail Jalili
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, UK

Presented at the Madrid International Conference on the Assassinations of Iraqi Academics, 23-24 April 2006

Updated 1 May 2006

Assassinated Iraqi Academics and Doctors
Sources of Data

Murdered Iraqi Academics and Doctors by Specialty

Assassinated Medical Professionals in Iraq

Deputy Iraqi Health Minister’s Statement (Feb 2006) - Since April 2003:
  • Over 1000 doctors have fled Iraq
  • Over 220 doctors have been killed in Iraq

Distribution of Assassinations

Other Non-Fatal Incidents

  • Many assassination attempts resulted in the death of other family members and escorts which have not been included or referred to in this study.
  • Multiple assassination attempts are ongoing.
  • Repeated threats to life are made to force people to leave Iraq.
  • Considerable numbers of threats to life go unreported.
  • In the last week of April 2006, a mass campaign was reported in Mosul of threats to doctors calling on them to leave Iraq.

Temporal Trends in Assassinations


Plight of Iraqi Academics
  • A new phenomena in Iraq,
  • Never existed prior to April 2003.
  • The pattern indicates a sinister campaign and motives.
  • Similar pattern to El-Salvador see: Death-squad style massacres for Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality - Mike Fuller.
  • The assassinations, kidnaps and threats to life forcing academics and doctors to leave Iraq do not follow any religious or sectarian pattern.
  • The only dominant pattern is that the absolute majority of victims are ethnically Arabs.

Madrid International Seminar on the Assassinations of Iraqi Academics
Final Statement on:

This presentation can be downloaded as a PDF file.

The url for Iraq: The Assassination of Academics; The Jalili Report is:

This article originally published 4/5/2006.

Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in Sussex, UK
Her email address is

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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