Report July EN #2

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

Iraq is in hot water, with interference from outside and cracking from inside.

Despite the deterioration of the political and economic conditions and the deterioration of services, other reasons emerged on the scene, making the demonstrations different in content from the previous ones. The external aggression against Iraq and audio leaks (see the link in the margins) ignited demonstrations, and even the government was unable to deal with them, not to mention the dire living conditions in the country. The demonstrations that broke out in many governorates and in Baghdad in particular, showed the political rift between the winning blocs, deepened the intensity of the demonstrations, and disrupted the government entirely. This time, the summer heat did not constitute an obstacle to the thousands who stormed the parliament and disrupted the work of state institutions. This report will review the demonstrations monitored by the monitoring team during July 2022 in several Iraqi governorates.

  • Demonstrations in Najaf Governorate

In contrast to the past months, protests broke out in numerous Iraqi provinces. Many civilians were killed and injured due to the Turkish bombing of the border regions in Iraq's Kurdistan region, which was reflected in Iraqi streets. In Najaf governorate, activists organized a protest stand, and protesters of the city followed the events of the Turkish bombing. The first spark began on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, when protesters gathered in front of the Turkish visa application office in the Kufa district, and the protesters lowered the Turkish flag in preparation to close the office in response to the Turkish aggression. Protesters and activists, through social media, called on citizens to join the organized vigil on the evening of the same day.

- Samples of audio leaks of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

- Maliki's leaks "ignite Iraq" - YouTube

- Iraq These are the qualities that Nuri al-Maliki called Muqtada al-Sadr - YouTube

These calls met with a mass response, as hundreds of the city's people protested in the Al-Ashrin Revolution Square in the city centre, condemning these attacks. The agreement between Iraq and Turkey authorizes the Turkish side to penetrate Iraqi territory. The protesters also raised Iraqi flags, slogans, and banners calling for the closure of the Turkish embassy and the restoration of Iraq's sovereignty and prestige.

One of the demonstrators stated that the Iraqi government had become weak and sluggish towards the Turkish aggression, as the Iraqi government did not receive any strict statement, as the most powerful government was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. They expressed their condemnation with a simple post on social media.

As an expression of their indignation and denunciation of the events, the demonstrators burned the Turkish flag in the "Twenty Revolution" square in the city center, with loud chants of #Long live Iraq #Long live Iraq.

Strong reactions in the Iraqi street after the Turkish bombing, where demonstrations were launched in several provinces condemning what Turkey had done

Media personnel, journalists, news organizations, and channels covering all events, such as Al-Rasheed TV, Zakros, Al-Masra, Al-Baghdadiah, Al-Ruwad, Al-Ghajir TV, Ain Shahid Agency, and other channels, as well as social media sites, particularly the Facebook was the most significant one, were all present in significant numbers. #Turkish ambassador expelled# was the hashtag. After the Turkish embassy was closed under pressure from the demonstrators, the demonstration ended peacefully after the security forces pledged not to open the embassy until further notice. As for the government, no official statement was issued by the government authorities regarding the demonstration. The role of the security forces was present to protect these gatherings.

These gatherings were peaceful, and the Special Security Forces (SWAT) role was limited to protecting the assembly and preventing any instance of riots by the demonstrators.

  • Demonstrations in Karbala governorate

Similar to what happened in the Najaf Governorate, the demonstrations spread to Karbala Governorate, where four separate demonstrations were launched to denounce the Turkish bombing.

Popular airlines are contracting with the Turkish Visa Granting Center for a large demonstration in front of the company, as mentioned earlier, to denounce what they described as the violation of Iraqi sovereignty, where more than 100 people gathered with the presence of 20 representatives of Iraqi media. The gathering was announced less than an hour ago on the social media platform, as the

The Karbalai street was the most denouncing the Turkish bombing, as four demonstrations took place in separate areas in the province, with the participation of different groups of the people.

demonstrators stormed the gates of the Visa Granting Center and wrote on the walls - closed by order of the people -. On the security front, the security forces resorted to using force to break up the

gathering and expel the protesters, as there was an exchange of words and a clash of hands between journalists and citizens on the one hand and the security forces on the other hand after they prevented the media from approaching the place. In addition, the army refused to lower the Turkish flag and replace it with the Iraqi flag. The journalist - Haider Hadi - indicated that most of those who attended the demonstration were demonstrators and activists of the October Revolution and expressed his surprise at the absence of the government's position, especially since the governorate presented two victims of Karbala's citizens.

The demonstration did not stop there, as the Karbala Bar Association organized a protest in the presence of about 50 lawyers to demand that the repeated violation of Iraqi sovereignty and the targeting of unarmed civilian areas not be repeated. The lawyers pointed out in their speech that Turkey's practices and bombing are a clear and explicit violation of Iraqi sovereignty and are contrary to all international laws and principles of international security. Furthermore, Rafid Al-khuzai's

Photo (3)

A photo of many demonstrators in front of the Turkish visa office in Karbala

lawyer called for the removal of the armed groups present on Iraqi territory, which the Turkish side invoked as a pretext for the bombing. Local media accompanied the protest through radio channels and websites. At the end of their protest, the lawyers announced the formation of a team to file lawsuits and defend the wounded injured by the Turkish shelling.

On the evening of the same day, more than 100 people gathered in the city center near the Ahrar roundabout, most of them activists and human rights defenders, in the presence of local media, to denounce the Turkish shelling of Iraqi territory, where the demonstrators raised large banners with words of denunciation and condemnation of the targeting of northern areas.

  • Demonstrations in Muthanna governorate

The issue of obtaining job opportunities is still the obsession that burdened the Iraqi citizen. On Saturday, the ninth of July, the graduates of Muthanna governorate protested in front of the hospitality building in Muthanna governorate, where the sit-in was called through social networking sites, specifically

Poor living conditions and a lack of fair employment opportunities continue to haunt Iraqi youth

the "Al-Muthanna Graduates Uprising" page and the graduate-Ali Star account - on the Facebook platform. The sit-in included an almost complete blockage of the governor's street by laying on the ground and chanting several slogans explaining that the governor of Al-Muthanna and the

governorate's representatives in the House of Representatives had failed the graduates of Al-Muthanna Governorate. The primary demand for this sit-in was that the governor of Muthanna, Mr. Ahmed Manfi, go out to meet the demonstrators. One of the demonstrators - indicated that they had previously slept on the ground for several days, and during their demonstrations and sit-ins, they did not find any interaction from the governor to support them, so they are here today to demand that the governor come down to meet them and listen effectively to their demands and follow up.

On the security side, there was a force of the security forces, and their numbers increased with the rise of the protesters’ speeches, which included treason against the ruling parties in particular - the Dawa Party - as it is the party in control of power and is not cooperating with the demonstrators. On the other hand, the governor’s procrastination and lack of cooperation with the graduates of the Al-Muthanna governorate were criticized.


         The sit-in continued to cut off Governorate Street, which is considered one of the closest streets leading to Samawa Central Hospital, until the next day, when it was agreed between representatives of the Muthanna graduates' demonstrators and several security ranks represented by the Muthanna Governorate Police Command to withdraw the sit-in and end the sit-in temporarily. At the same time, the demonstration representatives indicated that the withdrawal was made out of respect for the ranks that negotiated to end the sit-in and not for specific people. Therefore, it was agreed to end the sit-in on Sunday night, emphasizing the continuation of the Muthanna graduates' demonstrations and the call for a more extensive demonstration soon.

Governmentally, there was no statement or clarification by the governor of Muthanna, the representatives representing the Muthanna governorate in the House of Representatives, or even the Muthanna Governorate Police Command. The media was limited to social media channels, in which some aspects of the demonstration were published.

 After the government announced the appointment of a thousand job grades, another demonstration was launched for the graduates of Al-Muthanna Governorate to express their rejection of the selection mechanism approved through the graduates' meeting with the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament. The demonstration rejected the mechanism by which individuals will be accepted into the advertised jobs, which included distributing the advertised jobs to all graduates by voting, regardless of whether they were among the demonstrators. One of the demonstrators - indicated that this demonstration was due to procrastination by the

governor of Muthanna - Ahmed Manfi - and by members of the House of Representatives representing the Muthanna governorate and basic manipulation of the mechanism for selecting those covered by the thousand job grades. The demonstration included the participation of hundreds of male and female graduates, which started from the ceremonies square in the Muthanna governorate and headed towards the governorate building, and arrived at the guest house in the Muthanna Governor's house.

When he announced - one of the demonstrators - that the thousand job grades are from the share of the demonstrators from the Muthanna graduates. They were sleeping on the ground for long periods. They demonstrated a lot under the sun, and these thousand grades were determined after the meeting of the representatives of the Muthanna graduate protesters with the Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa Al-Kazemi - followed by a meeting with the President of The House of Representatives, Mr. Muhammad Al-Halbousi. After these two meetings, a thousand job grades were approved, after the two presidents were provided with a list of 861 graduates from Al-Muthanna Governorate. Meanwhile, Al-Muthanna Governorate formed a committee that established a unique mechanism to select a thousand job grades from graduates. This mechanism will include all graduates and move away from its primary goal of calming the demonstrations and thus not including all protesters with these job grades ultimately, meaning that the selection will be within the mechanism approved by the formed committee, which determines the year of graduation, specialization, and location of residence. Not all demonstrators will accept the advertised job grades as criteria for acceptance.

The demonstration continued to be in front of the private guest house in Muthanna Governorate until the end of the official working hours at two o’clock in the afternoon, and the demonstrators dispersed peacefully and with the promise of a very large sit-in. At the same time, there was no statement, statement, or clarification by the local government or representatives of the House of Representatives from the governorate. Al-Muthanna or even the Muthanna Governorate Police Command about the demonstrations. In terms of security, the security forces dealt professionally with the demonstration. Furthermore, their role was to ensure the safety and peacefulness of the demonstration. As for the media, it was limited to social media only.

  • Demonstrations in Al-Qadisiyah Governorate

After calls on social media channels, a group of Al-Diwaniyah municipality employees organized a protest on Friday in front of the third sector building of the Al-Diwaniyah municipality. They assaulted the employee when he performed his duty during the official working hours to remove the violations. Where - Al-Khalidi - is one of the employees of the abuse unit in the third sector of the municipality of Al-Diwaniyah, where a group of people who committed these abuses beats Al-Khalidi during his work in removing abuses and random grazing.

As a result of this attack, some representatives of contract employees in the directorate of Diwaniyah municipality went out to protest, attended by the director of the municipality - Haider Marzouk - and many sector officials and a large number of employees of permanent owners, contracts and daily wages. - Muhammad Farhoud Lafta Al-Zaidi - Vice President of the Mechanics Syndicate, at this stand.

On the other hand, the media office of the head of the Federation of Trade Unions in Diwaniyah issued a statement denouncing the attack that took place. The statement condemned the attack and considered it an immoral and brutal act by assaulting, beatings, and insulting the dignity of hygiene engineers who need an umbrella of security protection.

Al-Khafaji pointed out that "preserving the worker's moral and legal rights is one of the tasks entrusted to us, as banners and voices will be raised today in front of the sector building to restore moral rights." Legally, the union's legal advisor filed a lawsuit in the Labor Court against these subversive and outlaw groups. This event and the stand ended peacefully, and no violation or violence was observed from the security side. The work of the security forces was limited to facilitating the movement of peaceful gatherings by closing streets, redirecting traffic, and protecting the gathering from harassment. As for the role of the media, it was limited to social networking sites.

  • Demonstrations in Baghdad governorate

between the political parties participating in the political process in Iraq. Crowds of Sadrists demonstrated in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, intending to prevent the parliament session from convening to elect the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. As a precaution, the security forces closed several bridges with concrete barriers. However, this measure did not prevent the demonstrators from advancing toward

A mass demonstration threatens to overthrow the government and start a new era in Iraq's political history

The pace of tension has increased in Baghdad, especially after the demonstrators, supporters of the Sadrist movement, stormed the parliament amid security alert and tension

the parliament, as the demonstrators crossed the security barriers, reached the Green Zone, and went to the parliament dome. Earlier, al-Sadr's supporters threatened to demonstrate and storm parliament if it held a parliament session. Thousands of supporters of the Sadrist movement stormed the parliament building in protest against the nomination of - Muhammad al-Sudani - for the position of prime minister, where they stayed inside the building for several hours and then withdrew from it at the invitation of Muqtada al-Sadr

 Supporters of the Sadrist movement announced - today, Saturday - the start of an open sit-in inside the Iraqi parliament building after they stormed it for the second time in 4 days. Al-Kazemi called on the political forces in the country to cooperate and make concessions. To pass this stage in peace, stressing that Iraq is going through a challenging circumstance. It is worth noting that the demonstrations were not peaceful. During the demonstrations, dozens of people were injured, and the Iraqi Ministry of Health announced the injury of 125 people,

including 25 soldiers, confirming the continued mobilization of its institutions from hospitals and health centers to aid and treat the wounded.

Until this report was written, the demonstrations were still ongoing, and there was no indication that they would end. On the contrary, the leaked audio recordings of the former Prime Minister of Iraq - Nuri al-Maliki - provoked a violent wave of demonstrations, as Iraq is witnessing a violent clash between two political forces, a bloc - Nuri al-Maliki - and a current - Muqtada al-Sadr - obstructing the installation of the government and threatening to drag the country into a quagmire of new violence. The crisis reached its most severe when audio recordings attributed to the leader of the State of Law coalition - Nuri al-Maliki - were leaked, in which he attacked his political opponent, the leader of the Sadrist movement. The leaks included sectarian accusations leveled at Sunni and Kurdish politicians from the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Sadrist movement. In addition, the leaks included insults to the Sadrist movement and its leader. Moreover, another part of the leaked recording indicated that Iraq is on the verge of a fierce war against Al-Sadr, Al-Halbousi and Al-Barzani, stressing that he will take refuge with his clan "Bani Malik." due to a lack of trust in Iraqi and the army forces.

The security forces dealt with the situation and the demonstrators calmly. Furthermore, there was no reaction from the security forces, despite the demonstrators' storming of the parliament building and its control.



  • The reasons for the demonstrations / the demands of the demonstrators 

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

  • The Turkish bombing, which left behind dead and wounded people, was considered by the citizens a violation of Iraq's sovereignty
  • Dismissal of the current government and formation of a national government.
  • Claiming opportunities for appointment to government sectors.
  • Exceeding and assaulting government employees
  • Prosecuting the corrupt.


Notes on the security authorities' handling of gatherings:

Despite the reasons for the demonstrations, they differed which centered on two topics: the Turkish bombing and the audio leaks - of Nuri al-Maliki - the former Prime Minister of Iraq. However, the security forces committed to their professionalism in dealing with the demonstrators. Although the demonstrations this time went deep into the parliament dome and took control of it. The behavior of the security forces came for two reasons. First, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi's call to deal professionally with the demonstrators and not to use violence, and secondly, the size and subject of the demonstration led the security forces to deal peacefully and cautiously with the demonstration to avoid bloodshed and escalation, and the Iraqi Prime Minister confirmed this - Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. in his statement. These behaviors can be considered a good indication that the security forces have become more careful and severe with the demonstrations, and they understand the country's circumstances. This is in line with the objective function of the security authorities in maintaining the demonstrators' safety who are demanding their rights within the legal and constitutional contexts. Furthermore, the security authorities did not clash with the demonstrators could contribute to reducing the violence that was monitored in the past, and it can also be considered an indication of the security institutions' awareness of the current situation in general, in addition to their fear of aggravating matters to unimaginable consequences.

Kurdistan organization for human right watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org