Report July #1 En 23

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

A presidential decree arouses the ire of the Christian component in Iraq

Despite difficult living conditions, Iraqis still protest for reforms. Thousands of Christians protested a Republican decree against Cardinal Louis Sako. This was an attack on the Church and a threat to their lives in Iraq. The country is struggling with many difficult circumstances. Issuing a presidential decree in this way can add another crisis to the list of crises. During the first half of July 2023, two events were monitored by the monitoring team in the governorates of Dhi Qar and Erbil:

  • Demonstrations of Dhi Qar Governorate 02-07-2023

On Sunday, 2-7-2-23, dozens of people from the Al-Rifai district, north of Dhi Qar Governorate, staged a demonstration in front of the Al-Gharraf oil field. This was because of the environmental damage resulting from oil extraction operations. As the process of extracting oil is accompanied by toxic gases emission. It is very dangerous for the lives of citizens in the area. Activists used social media to organize a protest at the Gharraf oil field to address gas emissions from oil extraction.

One of the organizers of the demonstration stated that the goal of this demonstration is to demand the cessation of the oil extraction process inside the field. This is because of environmental damage and toxic gases emitted from the field. In addition to the emissions of toxic gases that result from the extraction of oil from the ground, medical reports note that the percentage of cancer infections has increased in the areas adjacent to the oil field, as this is an indication of the seriousness of the situation in the area.

 Environmental pollution is one of the most important files that the government and citizens alike must protect. Having a direct bearing on the survival and safety of humanity.


Photo (1)

The demonstrators were shown during the vigil due to environmental pollution

Protesters carriedbanners asking oil companies to reduce emissions and protect citizens' lives.And this is what - one of the demonstrators - indicated by saying that life hasbecome almost impossible, especially since these companies continue their workwithout looking at the health disaster they cause in the region.

The demonstration waspeaceful, beginning at six in the afternoon and ending at eight in the evening.During the demonstration, banners were raised and slogans were chanted callingon companies to stop working and address the situation. Security forcesorganized the demonstration, controlled traffic, and prevented violence andemergency. The demonstrators tried to enter this oil field building. Thesecurity forces worked professionally and calmly with the demonstrators. As forthe government, no statement was issued showing its position on thedemonstrators' demands. Media coverage of the demonstration was provided byseveral local channels, including the local Al-Nasiriyah channel, Fallujah'sAl-Tagheer channel, Al-Ahed's Al-Ahed channel, and various agencies until theevent concluded peacefully.

. Demonstrations in Erbil Governorate 07/13/2020 3

The Chaldean Church has expressed objection to a republican decree issued by Iraqi

President Abd al-Latif Rashid regarding the Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, which has been endorsed by the Presidency of the Republic of Iraq. The Chaldean Church has called on Christians in the Ankawa district to conduct a peaceful demonstration in protest of the issued decree. Where the call came through a statement announced by the church, in which it stated, "In support of the patriarchal edifice of our Chaldean Church and in solidarity with our esteemed Father, Cardinal Patriarch Dr. Mar Louis Sako, and rejection of the unjust decree issued by the President of the Republic against our church and our patriarch's bliss, an expanded

Photo (2)

The demonstrators from the Christian component were standing against the Republican decree

demonstration and vigil will be organized for the people of Ankawa and its residents, at exactly 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, corresponding to the 13th of July 2023, in front of St. Joseph of the Chaldeans. In response to the church's statement, thousands of people from the Christian community went out in a public demonstration. The demonstrators raised banners denouncing the Republican decree. This was an insult to this component of Iraq and the church itself. Where he - the head of the Chaldean Syriac Association - indicated that what the Iraqi president did was disrespectful to Christians, indicating that an evil hand was behind this matter, and he said that this step would hurt Christians.

One of the ministers from the Christian component in the region - Anu Johar Abdel-Masih - expressed his criticism of the Iraqi president's decision to withdraw

Republican Decree No. Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako is mentioned in the 147 (of 2013). He pointed out that Christians in Iraq have entered a critical phase. Mr. Ano resumed by saying that, for the first time since 2003, we are witnessing a dangerous precedent represented by the behavior of the head of the state's hierarchy represented by the President of the Republic and his falling into the trap of those who

During previous periods, especially during the occupation by ISIS, the Christian component of the Iraqi fabric was severely harmed. In Iraq, they are continuously declining.

want to harm the Christian people and stab them in the back. He labeled the President's decision as "unjustified" and pointed out the issue with the Iraqi Presidency through the Media Office's statement.

The spark for the demonstration and the protest movement began after the Iraqi Gazette newspaper, in its issue 4727 issued on July 3, 2023, published Republican Decree No. (31) to withdraw Republican Decree No. 147 of 2013 on Cardinal Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako.

The Office of the Presidency of the Republic released a statement explaining the reasons for enacting the decree. They clarified that Cardinal Louis Sako's status as the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and the world remains unaffected by the decree withdrawal. The withdrawal of the decree corrected an unconstitutional situation, as Decree No. Besides asking heads of churches and other sects to issue republican decrees of similar nature without a constitutional basis, the letter (147) of 2013 did not have a constitutional basis. The statement also

The reasons for the demonstration / the demands of the demonstrators

By reviewing the demonstration in Najaf Governorate, the most prominent reasons for its launch are:

  • Environmental pollution.
  • Opposition to a Republican decree against Patriarch Louis Sako.


Notes on security authorities' handling of gatherings:

Security authorities handled demonstrators professionally during monitored demonstrations in Iraq. This indicates the security forces' performance in coping with demonstrators. Dealing peacefully with demonstrators and organizing them properly can be considered one strength of the security forces' work dealing with the file of demonstrators, in which the individual's right to demonstrate and freedom of expression is guaranteed.

Kurdistan Organization for Human Right Watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org