My colleague Wamidh Nadhmi, who has died at the age of 75, was an outstanding Iraqi academic and fighter for democracy and justice. A secular advocate of Arab nationalism during its heyday, he performed the rare feat of calling for reforms during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and, because of his local and international reputation, going unpunished.
Unlike many opponents of the Ba’athist regime, he was a determined critic of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. In that year he published the Arab Banner, the first newspaper to oppose the occupation, and rejected an invitation to join the Iraqi governing council, which was set up by Paul Bremer, the US head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. In 2004 Wamidh helped to establish and was elected vice-president of the Iraqi National Foundation Congress, the first coalition to include politicians and representatives from all walks of Iraqi life who opposed the occupation.