Life long commitment to democratic values

Laureaat Freedom from Fear Award 2012

Hussain al-shahristani Laureaat Freedom from Fear Award 2012

Hussain al-Shahristani, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Republic of Iraq


Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani is currently Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs since 2010. He was Iraqi Minister of Oil, a position he has held from 2006 -2010. Previously,  dr. Al-Shahristani served as a member of the Iraqi Parliament (2006), and as First Deputy Chairman of the Iraqi National Assembly (2005).


In 2004 he taught as a Professor at Baghdad University, and from 2002-2004 was Visiting Professor at Surrey University in the United Kingdom. In 2003 he was Head of the Iraqi National Academy of Sciences.


Hussain al-Shahristani spent more than a decade (1979-1991) as a political prisoner in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison under the regime of Saddam Hussein. First arrested for his opposition to the government’s persecution of political opponents and kept captive after his refusal to help the regime build an atomic weapon, he escaped during a bombing raid on Baghdad during the First Gulf War.


Dr. Al-Shahristani fled to Iran where he served as head of the Gulf War Victims Organization from 1991-1995. He later continued his support for the victims of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the Gulf War as head of the Iraqi Political Prisoners Union (2003) and as Head of the Iraqi Refugees Aid Council (1998-2003).


Before his arrest and imprisonment dr. Al-Shahristani served as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission. Prior to that, he was a lecturer at Mosul University (1973), an Assistant Professor at Baghdad University (1974), Chief of Baghdad University’s Radioisotope Production Department from 1975-1977, and Chief of the Nuclear Chemistry Department from 1977-1979.


Born in 1942 in Karbala, Iraq, dr. Al-Shahristani received his BSc in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London in 1965, and an MSc from the University of Toronto in 1967. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the same university in 1970.