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Designation of Iraqi Militia Leader in Connection With Serious Human Rights Abuse

Today, the United States is designating Falih al-Fayyadh, Chairman of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Commission (PMC) and former National Security Advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister, for his role in violence against Iraqi protesters in 2019. Al-Fayyadh is being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

During protests beginning in October 2019, Iran-aligned PMC forces attacked Iraqi civilians protesting against corruption, unemployment, economic stagnation, poor public services, and Iranian interference in Iraq’s domestic affairs.

Al-Fayyadh was the head of the PMC when its forces fired live ammunition at protesters resulting in the deaths of Iraqi civilians. Al-Fayyadh was also a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force Qods Force (IRGC-QF) supported crisis cell that included previously sanctioned militia leaders Qais al-Khazali and Hussein Falah al-Lami, as well as the now-deceased IRGC-QF commander Qasem Soleimani and PMC deputy leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Iran-aligned PMC forces continue to wage a murderous campaign against political activists in Iraq who are calling for free and fair elections, respect for human rights, and transparent and accountable governance. Many of these elements have established fictitious organizational cover names to hide their culpability for ongoing attacks against the Iraqi state. Today’s action is a clear message that the United States stands with the Iraqi people in their pursuit of freedom, justice, and democracy.

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