Report April #2 2022 EN

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

The delayed government formation and the arrest of

activists provoked discontent in the Iraqi street.

Despite the announcement of the election results, the formation of the government faces many complications. It is not surprising that the process of forming the Iraqi government has been prolonged. This scenario repeats after every election that is held. However, the profound differences this time are a new situation that the ruling class in Iraq has not been accustomed to before. This delay had negative repercussions and a direct impact on the citizen's life. This situation aroused the discontent of the Iraqi street, as it made the citizens question the feasibility of early elections in light of this delay that accompanied the formation of the expected government. Months after the elections, the Iraqi street denounced the situation and demanded the parties involved in the country's political process find practical solutions to get the country out of the conditions it is going through. The government responses and security measures towards the demonstrations and sit-ins varied in terms of using violence and disregarding the demonstrators' demands or trying to deal with them professionally. During the second half of April 2022, The monitor teams monitored the demonstration for the preparation of writing this report.

Demonstrations in Diwaniyah

The delay in the formation of the government was one of the main reasons for the exit of citizens demanding a decent life for them.

Under the hashtag #Friday_Decision_of_the People#, the Free Tishreen - a group of demonstrators formed in 2019 in several governorates of Iraq - organized on Friday 15/4/2022 and at precisely eight o'clock in the evening in the city of Diwaniyah a protest march in front of the turn of the martyr Muhammad al-Baqir and then the launch to the Diwaniyah Martyrs Square, where this demonstration was called through social networking sites, indicating the most important reasons that called for the demonstration, which is the end of the constitutional period

scheduled to the formation of the government, the continuation of the fighting over positions, and the indifference to the formation of the government. The decision to launch the demonstrations was to put pressure on the political parties to speed up the formation of the government. Furthermore, for the people, they have the final word and the decision to get their salvation from this crisis. The pictures of several martyrs were uploaded, including the picture of the martyr Haider Al-Zamili and other martyrs, as they embody the symbols of these demonstrations.

Demonstrations in Diwaniyah

In addition to calling on speeding up the formation of the government, there were some other demands that the demonstrators called for, including; completing the items of the ration card and distributing it monthly, restoring the alternative system, and giving full rights to the security forces, in addition to reducing the dollar exchange rate and prices of goods and foodstuffs, completing work in the Faw port, reviving agriculture, supporting farmers and providing all their needs, reviving industry and opening closed factories.

 Where Marwan Al-Ahmedawi - one of the demonstrators - stated that most of the parliamentarians

Photo (1)

A group of young people made a wall in front of the march to convey an image of the peacefulness of the demonstration

Furthermore, the Parliament’s inability to perform its role in representing the people and the requirements of their interests and its significant failures the first they elected a corrupt parliament speaker and exceeded the constitutional period informing the government. Moreover, forming parliamentary committees with the membership of several people is known to be corrupt for all. The demonstrators also warned Parliament that this demonstration would take another turn. If the situation continues, they stressed the need to select independent national figures far from party affiliations to lead the next stage.

who called for their support for citizens' rights before the elections did not take any position, did not address the responsibility, and did not take any stance towards the delay in forming the government. In a strongly-worded statement, the demonstrators condemned the political parties' reluctance to form a new government. Moreover, according to what was stated in the statement, they violate the constitution and its decisions. This continuation of the policy of starvation and ignorance of the people, relying on their paid media machines to pass their objectives.

In their statement, the demonstrators set a time limit for Parliament in one week. They stated that if the weekends do without achieving those as mentioned earlier, the demonstrators will announce, with the support of Marja (religious references) and indigenous tribes, On a date for a million-strong demonstration to dissolve the Parliament.

Photo (2)

Another side of the demonstration of Ahrar Tishreen, Diwaniyah Governorate

At the time of writing this report, there had been no significant reaction from the government or parliament. Despite the mass crowd and the extent of the demonstration, no media was monitored to cover the event, and the demonstrations were covered via social media. The demonstration was peaceful, and the security forces dealt professionally with the demonstrators, where the demonstration did not provoke any confrontations or violence with the security authorities. The role of the security forces was limited to protecting the gathering.

Demonstrations in Al-Muthanna Governorate

Figure (3)

Pictures of Muthanna Governorate protesters raising a picture of Faris Abu Dana, who was arrested by government authorities

One of the most prominent accusations against the government by the protesters was the use of violence and intimidation to suppress the demonstrations

A word of truth said to a despotic ruler, A phrase that filled the banners raised by the demonstrators in Al-Muthanna Governorate prior to the arrest of the protester and civil activist - Faris Bu Dana. Where preparations for the vigils began, and the vigils were called through social media sites and the grievances of the demonstrations in Al-Muthanna, as Faris is one of the main drivers of the October movement. After he was arrested and sentenced to two months in prison by the Muthanna Court of Appeals, the wave of calls for protests and denunciations escalated, claiming that the plaintiff was to protect the governor of Muthanna - Ahmed Manfi - and his brother. The lawsuit filed

against - Faris Abu Dana - included throwing bricks at the governorate building during the demonstrations period and the accusation of defaming the governor. As a result of these two lawsuits, the activist - Faris Abu Dana - was sentenced to two months in prison by the Court of Appeal. In response to this decision, on Monday 04/18-2022, dozens of citizens in Al-Muthanna, in its center, Samawah, as well as Al-Rumaitha district and Al-Hilal district, marched protest marches and condemned the court's

decision, while dozens of demonstrators staged a sit-in in front of the Muthanna Appeals Court. The demonstrators also called on the court to reconsider the case. They threatened that if their demands were not met, they would be called to stage a large demonstration to reconsider the appeals court's decision.

A number of the organizers of the demonstration - Haider Khashan and Durgham Al-Iraqi - indicated that the arrest warrant for Faris was carried out through malicious and unrealistic claims, and it violates the general principles of human rights in the right to express the opinion. They also pointed out that such cases and lawsuits aim to intimidate young people, silence the voice of truth, silence mouths, and limit democracy. Therefore, the citizens' exit was a message to the ruling authorities to categorically reject what they described as arbitrary decisions and abusive practices by the Muthanna Court of Appeal. Furthermore, the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Mr. - Judge Faiq Zaidan - and the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee were invited to follow up on the violations and violations committed by the Muthanna Court of Appeal. The demonstration lasted for two days. After the demonstrators dispersed on Monday evening, they called for another protest stop on Tuesday in front of the Muthanna Court of Appeal.

Figure (4)

Shows the presence of the security forces in front of the Court of Appeal to organize the demonstrators

With a heavy security presence and media coverage, hundreds of demonstrators gathered, who were banned from various areas of the Muthanna Governorate, as well as witnessed the participation of the representative of Imtidad ( the Extension Movement) and its founder - Alaa Al-Rikabi - in addition to the Tishreni activist - Dergham - and others from outside the Muthanna governorate, in front of the Court of Appeal, and the demonstration and standing before the court began to denounce the court's decision and the demand for freedom for the activist - Faris Abu Dana. 

Many patriotic chants were chanted, and several banners were raised that included pictures of the detained activist and others calling for their release and freedom. On the other hand, the court indicated that everything practiced by the authorities, including the imprisonment of activist Faris Abu Dana, is legal and is under Article 38 of the Iraqi constitution. There is no illegal procedure in the process of detention or in the judicial ruling.

One of the demonstrators - Atwan - who is one of the main drivers of all protests in Muthanna, indicated that the reason for the demonstration for two consecutive days was to stand against corruption and reject the methods of fear and intimidation used by the government agencies represented by the governorate and that these measures will not come to fruition from the demonstrators. The activist's father, Faris, also indicated that they insisted on continuing the demonstration until the court responded and Faris was released. Although the demonstration continued for two days, no government statement was issued to address the situation. The demonstrations continued for four hours in front of the Muthanna Court of Appeal, with broad participation. They included many denunciations, and everyone was called to give the court a deadline to reconsider the case after it was distinguished and to call for the demonstration to be broken up for the further notice. From the security side, the security forces were professional in handling the situation, as their work was limited to organizing the demonstration, and no type of force or violence was used during the demonstration and the vigils. The demonstration coordinators confirmed this through social networking sites.

Demonstrations in Sulaymaniyah Province

On Sunday morning, 04/24/2022, hundreds of graduates of colleges, institutes, and medical departments who work voluntarily in government hospitals in Sulaymaniyah and Kalar city gathered in front of some hospitals in Sulaymaniyah, including - Dr. Hemin Hospital, the old emergency hospital, and Shar Teaching Hospital in Sulaymaniyah and Qala Hospital in Kalar - where the protesters staged a sit-in protesting the lack of official appointments or even contracts. At the same time, the Ministry of Health secretly appointed about 200 graduates of medical colleges and institutes in Zakho and Dohuk to the permanent staff of the Ministry of Health.

Photo (5)

Shows the gathering of graduates in front of a government hospital in Sulaymaniyah Governorate

Picture (6)

The administrative order book shows the appointment of a number of individuals in Dohuk Governorate

The protesters gathered at the beginning of the official morning work. They raised banners and slogans calling on the government to appoint them like graduates in other governorates of the region. In a press conference organized by the demonstrators, a spokesman for the protesters indicated that the regional government discriminates between graduates in the matter of appointment. This accusation came as a result of the leak of a document showing that the government appointed some graduates in the cities of Zakho and Dohuk. The demonstrators considered this procedure unfair and discriminated against graduates in other governorates, specifically graduates of Sulaymaniyah governorate, as they have been working as volunteers for more than five years. Furthermore, half of Sulaymaniyah's hospitals depend on medical staff from volunteers, and the government should observe justice between cities and the appointment process.


Therefore, the demonstrators appealed to the government and the Ministry of Health to consider the issue of graduates in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate, and they also demanded opportunities for their official and fair appointment. In addition, the demonstrators indicated that they would continue the sit-in and strike until their demands for permanent appointments were fulfilled, as in other cities. He also warned the demonstrators of the negative repercussions of this sit-in on the health sector if this strike continues, as the health system will be directly affected, and the health sector will be affected by the fundamental imbalance. Governmental hospitals will not be able to continue providing health services to citizens as they rely heavily on the health cadre of volunteers who are graduates of medical departments.

The sit-in continued for two days as graduates of colleges, institutes, and medical departments continued their sit-in and strike. These demonstrations did not receive any reactions from government agencies, as no government official attended, and no official statement was received from the government in this regard. As for the media, the event was covered by many local and satellite TV channels. The demonstrations were also covered by social media and by many news agencies (such as Anadolu Agency, Khandan, Shar, Kobas, Esta, Khalk, and Aweneh). Honestly, the demonstration was peaceful, but what is remarkable is that no presence of security forces was observed at the sit-in site, although it lasted for two consecutive days.

Reasons for demonstrations/demands of demonstrators

By reviewing the demonstrations and events in some Iraqi governorates, the most prominent reasons that led to the start of the demonstrations can be reviewed as follows:

Delayed formation of the government. 

rampant corruption 

Demanding the government to be fair in contract appointments and ultimately appointing them permanently.

Demanding the release of political detainees.

Notes on the security authorities' handling of gatherings

It can be said that the demonstrations were generally peaceful, but they were not always present during the start of the local demonstrations. Therefore, the reactions of the security forces during their presence can be considered literal reactions, which reflects the positive progress in the security institutions' dealing with the demonstrators. On the other hand, the absence of security forces in the demonstrations can be evaluated as a negative indicator, considering that the government side did not increase the popular demands or did not take the popular demands seriously.

Kurdistan organization for human right watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org