Since mid 2018, with the almost complete elimination of the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq, the government has been expected to guarantee fundamental rights for its citizens. Without the capability to do so, protests emerged on October 1st of this year (2019) in which more than 300 lives have been taken by governmental forces and thousands injured. 

The current protests emerge due to state corruption, poor public services, and unemployment. Starting in Baghdad and spreading to most of the largest cities in the country, the protest escalated throughout October and November mostly because of excessive use of force and violence from security officials. 

Transparency International places Iraq as the 168/180 or 12th most corrupt country in the world. Ever since the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein, the following administrations have mishandled the economy of the country. A clear example of how authoritarian regimes affect economies and societies even years later of their mandate. 

More than 300 hundred protestors have been killed in over a month. What is happening in Iraq is a bloodbath from part of the Government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and President Barham Saleh. The “security activities” which is clear repression to the people of Iraq must cease immediately and the Government must respond to its citizens whom they have a responsibility to protect. 

Right to life, liberty and security, freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly are being systematically violated by the Government. As well, the fact that the security forces are using live ammunition against protestors must be stated and condemned. 

The HRI for Peace and freedom condemns the acts of repression conducted by the Iraqi Government. The freedom of peaceful reunion must be respected globally under the parameters of rule of law; the same parameters that should have been restored by the administrations that succeeded the dictatorship since 2003. 

The international community and inter-governmental bodies must address the situation. Specially, the HRI calls the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, Michelle Bachelet, to demand the immediate cease of repression against the people of Iraq.