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Iraq criminal appeals court judge assassinated

[JURIST] Unidentified assailants Thursday shot and killed a top Iraqi judge while he was traveling on a Baghdad highway. Kamel al-Shewaili was the president of the al-Rasafah Court of Appeal, one of two appeals courts in Baghdad, and presided over criminal cases for the city's eastern district. Reuters has more. Voices of Iraq has local coverage.

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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