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Five Iraq appeals court judges survive assassination attempts

[JURIST] Unknown bombers made unsuccessful assassination attempts on the lives of five Iraqi appeals court judges Monday. The five judges - Ali al-Alaq, Suleiman Abdullah, Ghanim Janab, Alaa al-Timimi, and Hassan Fouad - are all members of the al-Rasafa Court of Appeal in eastern Baghdad. While all five were unharmed in the separate attacks, the wife of Ali al-Alaq and family members of Suleiman Abdullah were wounded by the bombs, and the judges' vehicles and property sustained damages in the blasts. An Iraqi judge told Voices of Iraq that the attacks involved roadside bombs targeting the judges as they commuted to work [Voices of Iraq report]. Last Thursday, Kamel al-Shewaili, the president of the al-Rasafah court, was shot and killed [JURIST report] by unidentified assailants while travelling on a Baghdad highway. Reuters has more.

In January, Iraqi federal court of appeal judge and Supreme Judicial Council member Amir Jawdat al-Naeib was also assassinated [JURIST report] by gunmen in the capital. The Judicial Council said in August 2007 that 31 Iraqi judges have been assassinated since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. The Iraqi Lawyers Association reported in April last year that at least 210 lawyers and judges have been killed [IRIN report] since the US-led invasion, with dozens more injured in attacks which have prompted hundreds to leave the country. Many key Iraqi judges and their families now live in the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad or in the so-called Rule of Law complex [NYT report], a secure compound in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Rusafa where they are supposedly safe from outside threats.

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