Report Jan #1 En 2023
تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

Once again, the citizen pays the price of the fuel crisis in light of the merciless winter

With the onset of winter, the issue of fuel and heating sources has become one of the first requirements of citizens, especially in the northern regions of Iraq. The fuel crisis has become frequent during the winter period when the citizen is in dire need to provide energy sources for heating. In this report, the demonstrations that were monitored by the monitoring team during the first half of January 2022 will be reviewed in the Sulaymaniyah governorate, specifically the Penjwin district.

  • Demonstrations in Sulaymaniyah Governorate (Penjwin District) 01-15-2023

 The northern Penguin region of Sulaymaniyah governorate suffers from a severe shortage of fuel, specifically (white oil), which is a main source of heating in the region. As soon as winter comes, the plight of the citizens in the region begins due to the scarcity and high prices of fuel. The difficult climatic environment of the region has burdened the citizens. In order to ward off this danger, hundreds of Iraqis went out to demand their shares of oil, which the regional government has committed to provide to citizens every year

The difficult nature of Penguin district has made the environment one of the challenges that citizens have to face, and this matter cannot be achieved without government support

On 15/1/2023, hundreds of residents of the Penjwin district of the Sulaymaniyah governorate gathered for the third time, calling on the regional government, the governor of Sulaymaniyah, and the district governor to provide basic fuels, including white oil, which is used for heating at reduced prices so that the citizen can buy it. As it is known that the district of Penguin faces severe cold during the winter period, as he indicated - one of the manifestations - that this area, unlike other regions of the region, is known

Photo (1)

A side of the citizens' sit-in in the district of Penguin

for very cold winters, as the temperature last winter reached (-27) twenty-seven degrees Celsius below zero, so the citizens They need means of heating to protect themselves from the cold of winter. During the demonstration, one of the demonstrators indicated that the government had provided two hundred liters of white oil, which is so little that it is not enough for heating, knowing that the district is one of the coldest places in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, where the harsh winters in the district require at least two barrels of oil. Al-Abyad, which strongly drives people to search for alternative solutions, which is cutting down trees for heating, which poses a threat to the environment.

This - one of the demonstrators - indicated that the regional government and the local government in Penguin district do not take our fuel needs seriously, as only (200 liters) of oil is distributed to each family, and this quantity is very small when compared to the winter conditions in the region. The insufficient distribution of white oil weighs

heavily on the citizens, who are forced to buy

it at high prices, noting that the majority of the region's residents are low-income people.

Photo (2)

Another aspect of the peasant demonstrations demanding their rights

And in an interview - a demonstrator - that the government should work on alternatives in the event that it is unable to provide oil to be used for heating, for example by providing electricity 24 hours a day or allowing us to cut down trees. Without these alternatives, we cannot continue during this season. The spokesperson for the demonstration stated that they will continue to move forward with their legitimate demands - he said - and the sit-ins will not stop until the government responds to these demands, and we will resort to escalation in the event that the local government neglects our demands, and if this government is unable to administer the judiciary, they must be replaced by people who are able to deal with This crisis.

To force the government to respond to the demands of the demonstrators, the demonstrators cut off the main road leading to the Sulaymaniyah governorate by setting up a tent on the main road, and they set up tents on the main roads between the district and the governorate. This measure was taken by the demonstrators to push the government to move to solve this crisis. However, the government did not issue any statement or instructions to solve this crisis. As for security, there were some altercations and altercations between the demonstrators and the security forces, without any injuries among the demonstrators or the security forces. As for the media, a number of media channels were monitored to cover the event, including the media, as there were a number of media channels, including nrt, K24, Payam.



The reasons for the demonstrations / the demands of the demonstrators

By reviewing the demonstrations and events in a number of Iraqi governorates, it becomes clear that the most prominent reasons that led to their launch are as follows:

  • Renewal call for local government change.
  • Providing fuel sources
  • Controlling fuel prices in the market
  • Providing energy alternatives for heating


Notes on the security authorities' handling of gatherings:

It can be said that the security forces' treatment is still weak in terms of professionalism in dealing with demonstrators. This matter was evident through the use of violence to deal with the demonstrators, which proved ineffective during the previous periods. On the contrary, the results were not expected on the ground. Therefore, it can be said that the security forces' resort to violence in dispersing the demonstrations may be a result of their inability to deal professionally with the protests. This is a negative indicator of the performance of the security forces in general.

Kurdistan Organization for Human Right Watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org