Report June #2 En 23
تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

Crises and encroachment on the holy places provoke the indignation of Iraqis

Even though Iraq suffers from water scarcity and poor infrastructure. Iraqis responded to the burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden with an unprecedented demonstration to express their outrage. Violating religious sanctities, especially the Quran, is forbidden in Islam. The monitoring team reviewed demonstrations in Iraqi provinces in June 2023:

  • Dhi Qar Governorate demonstrations on 18-06-2023

      A demonstration was launched in the city of Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar Governorate, with an invitation on social media by several activists. The demonstration took place on Sunday, 18-6-2023/in Nasiriyah city in Dhi Qar Governorate, with the participation of hundreds of citizens from the villages of Al - Gharaf district in Dhi Qar Governorate, in front of the Water Resources Directorate in Nasiriyah city, the governorate Center, in protest against the

Water is an essential source of life, without the availability of clean water sources, life becomes almost impossible in any region. Therefore, it is the duty of the government to provide clean water sources to citizens so that they can live in their areas.

scarcity of water and lack of services in their areas. The dignitaries of the AL-Gharaf district and some representatives of the villages ' public took part.

During the demonstration, demonstrators displayed flags and banners asking the government to meet their demands by providing them with water sources. The demonstrators warned to shut down water circuits if their water and services demands are unmet.


One demonstrator, who is from the village of Al - Gharaf, pointed out that they have been suffering from water scarcity for five years, which caused many people's migration and livestock death in

Baghdad governorate demonstrations 29-06-2023

many villages. Lack of water has made life in the village almost impossible, prompting peasants to migrate to the city.

Odeh Wazir, one dignitary, and demonstrator of the villages of Al-Gharaf in Dhi Qar Governorate, also pointed out that they agreed to organize this demonstration in one council of elders on this demonstration after our villages were affected by drought and the lack of attention of officials, especially since most of the citizens here live on agriculture and fishing and because of the drought, their work was stopped, but they suffer from the lack of drinking water, which forced some to use unsanitary water, which caused the spread of skin diseases and cancers, so we contacted some of the media who came today to cover the demonstration and deliver their voice to officials, and if the government does not respond quickly to the demands, there will be an escalation and steps to come as well. The demonstration was peaceful, and no violent actions were issued by the demonstrators. The demonstration lasted for two hours, and then the demonstration ended because of high temperatures in the area.

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Another aspect of the vigil of clan elders

The director of Water Resources in Dhi Qar went out to the demonstrators and promised them. He would deliver their messages to officials in Baghdad because the water problem in Iraq is a public and international problem that has nothing to do with the local government and does not have the resources to address this problem. As for the media, there were media institutions in the place to cover, including the local Nasiriyah channel, Fallujah, change and Ahd channels, and various agencies, besides social media, including Facebook. The demonstration was self-led and peaceful, with no security interference.

Baghdad governorate demonstrations 29-06-2023


On Thursday, the second day of EID, on 29-6-2023, hundreds of followers of the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, came out in an unprecedented demonstration heading to the Swedish embassy building in the Salhiya area of central Baghdad, protesting the burning of the Quran. By a Swede of Iraqi origin named Silwan Momika, who burned and dismembered him under protecting the authorities and in front of about 200 Muslims, outside the main mosque in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

As a quick reaction, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Iraq, the Swedish Embassy, expressing their indignation at the incident of burning the Quran, and the demonstrators began with chants demanding the expulsion of the Swedish Embassy, and then the demonstrators crossed the front wall of the embassy and then forcibly entered it after they broke the embassy gate and enter its courtyard, and they raised slogans and flags referring to (the victory of the Holy Quran) besides raising photos of the leader of the Sadrist movement-

The incident of burning the Holy Quran can generate a series of undesirable reactions because the issue of violating the holy places is one of the things that would provoke the outbreak of violence again. Therefore, it is important to respect the sanctities of others everywhere.

The demonstration ended peacefully, and no violence happened. The demonstration ended after the call for another mass demonstration to denounce the burning of the Holy Quran.

A security source pointed out that the security authorities have closed the three entrances leading to the Swedish Embassy in the Salhiya area in central Baghdad with concrete blocks. This is an important area in the capital and it hosts seven embassies near the Swedish Embassy. About 200 security personnel were also deployed at those

photo (3)

Show the demonstrators in front of the Swedish embassy

Muqtada al-Sadr. The protesters also took down the Swedish flag and then retreated outside the embassy building. The demonstrators distributed leaflets with the words "Our Constitution is the Quran, Mrs. Sadr" in English and Arabic in front of the Swedish Embassy.

entrances. These measures have been taken as a precaution against any future demonstrations. The committee in Baghdad advised protesters not to wear veils and not to burn the Swedish flag. The security forces deployed around the Swedish embassy building after the protesters withdrew from it.

Many countries have condemned this behavior, including European and Arab countries1.  The protesters also demanded the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador from Iraq. He also called on the secretary general of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq movement, Qais al - Khazali, to support the popular stand in front of the Swedish Embassy2.


  1. Urgent action from the UAE regarding the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden (Albalad. news)
  2. Arab and Islamic condemnation and storming of the Swedish embassy in Baghdad after burning a copy of the Qur’an in Stockholm (france24.com)

 As a reaction to the burning of the Holy Quran, Muqtada al–Sadr called in a statement published on his official Twitter page, specifying four points, including " withdrawing Iraqi citizenship from Silwan, who publicly burned the book of Allah, and to work on returning him to Iraq or sentencing him in absentia”.

For his part, he directed the Iraqi judiciary, on Thursday, to take legal measures against Silwan, who burned a copy of the Holy Quran in Sweden and demand his return for trial in the country. This came according to a statement issued by the Supreme Judicial Council in Iraq, in which he said that Faik Zeidan, who holds the post of chairman of the Judicial Council, was directed to take what is necessary to recover Silwan in Sweden and try him by the Iraqi Penal Code.

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Protesters are seen inside the Swedish Embassy

Reasons for the demonstration/demands of the demonstrators


Through a review of the demonstration that took place in Najaf Governorate, the most prominent reasons that led to its launch are:

* Scarcity of Water Resources.

* Poor service

* Burning the Holy Quran.

* Insulting the sacred


Remarks on the handling of gatherings by the security authorities:

The work of the security forces faces many challenges, especially in protecting international consulates. Iraq's demonstrations this month were caused by a mix of government failure and external provocation. The security forces in Iraq had extra work, as the people started sit-ins and demonstrations in response to their repercussions. This was monitored worldwide, making them work harder. The security forces dealt with the demonstration professionally. This measure can be counted as a point in favor of the work of the security forces and progress in their performance to confront the demonstrations in Iraq.

Kurdistan Organization for Human Right Watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org