Report May #2 En

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

Poorservices and speed cameras infuriate citizens

Services are one topic that many citizens sufferfrom, especially students of internal departments who, due to study conditions,were forced to stay in internal departments. Consequently, the deficiency ofamenities such as electric, oil, and gas supplies renders life in urban areasproblematic. Besides unsatisfactory services, the installation of speed camerason major roads has caused considerable angst and dissatisfaction from citizens.The monitoring team will evaluate the demonstrations that occurred in the Erbiland Sulaymaniyah governorates during May2023 in this report.

  • Demonstrations inSulaymaniyah Governorate 18-05-2023

The provision of basic services to students greatly affects their academic performance and scientific level, so it is necessary for the concerned authorities to provide adequate livelihoods for students so that they can successfully pass their academic stages

turned out in a sit-in in front of the internal department to protest against poor services. Students blocked the main road in front of the dormitory to demand a response from the administration of the University of Sulaymaniyah. The demonstrators demanded that the university administration provide the dormitory with electricity, oil, and gas. One student who protested pointed out that they are now in the exam period. They are suffering from a shortage of electricity and cooling sources, which has severely affected them. However, they have received no response from the dormitory administration to resolve their issues.

Photo (1)

A number of demonstrators were seen blocking a public street during the protest

On Thursday, 18-5-2023, at three o'clock in the afternoon, many students of dormitories of the University of Sulaymaniyah, in the Qalisan area,

In response to poor services, dozens of students from the internal departments sat in front of the internal department. University administration provides services to dormitories throughout the academic year. However, these services are reduced because of poor government funding for universities or poor management at the university.

  Another student also pointed out that she lives on the third floor in the internal department and because of 

the constant power outage, she has to use the stairs several times a day to spend her daily needs, which is stressful for her and her colleagues, and despite contacting the dormitory, we could not find a listening ear.

It is worth mentioning that the demonstration was peaceful, as there was no violence of any kind and no security forces were monitored. Only the guards present in the internal department protected the students. They organized car movements to avoid accidents because of students gathering on the public street. Many media channels were covering the event, including RUDAW, NRT, and XANDAN. The protest continued until late at night. The government has not responded to the demands of the demonstrators.

Demonstrations in Sulaymaniyah Governorate 26-05-2023

Photo (2)

Here is another view of the demonstrations as they block the street in front of vehicles

Many citizens of the Macron beer district came out in demonstrations to protest the cameras installed along the main road of the Macron beer district, which are known as Point-to-Point cameras, because these types of cameras record speed violations along the road and during the distance between the cameras as well, they calculate the time the driver is supposed to arrive from the first camera to the second and third, and so on. This camera also records other violations, such as using a cell phone while driving and failing to buckle the seat belt.

The demonstration began when the General Directorate of Traffic placed several speed cameras on the main road between Pera Magnoon and Sulaymaniyah Governorate, where hundreds of demonstrators came out to Pera Magnoon the demonstration to protest the placement of these cameras and demanded the removal of these cameras as they affect the economic side of citizens because of the many fines recorded by these cameras. And because these cameras belong to the private sector, private companies contracted with the Traffic Directorate to install them.

Speed cameras located at point-to-point locations have become a source of frustration for drivers due to the fact that these cameras are capable of recording speeding violations both along the road and at a distance between them.

Photo (3)

One of the demonstrators reads the statement of the demonstrators in front of the media channels

The demonstrationbegan by blocking the main street in front of passing vehicles, wheredemonstrators raised signs calling for speed camera removal. They also issued aspecial statement, including several key points, including:

1-raise these camerasand put other cameras.

2-restore themechanism of fines registration and reduce the calculated fine size reduce thesize of the calculated fine.

3-review the subjectof speed limits set by speed cameras.

4-deducting part ofthe money from fines for the restoration of streets and roads in the area.

The demonstratorsalso said that they will have more severe reactions if the government does notrespond to these demands.

Although thedemonstration was peaceful now, the security forces did not follow impartialityand professionalism in dealing with the demonstrators. The security forces usedforce to break up the demonstration and prevented media channels from coveringthe event. She also booked cameras for media channels, including the NRTchannel.

Demonstrations in Erbil governorate28-05-2023

Erbil farmer's market workers held a mass walkout in response to administrative regulations. 

Demonstrators blocked the main road between Erbil and Mosul. The administration prevented employees and sellers from entering the attic and closed its doors. One demonstrator pointed out that the farmer’s market administration closed its doors because one of the private sector companies had opened a new market, and although several workers in the farmer’s market have contacted the District Commissioner of Erbil and the governorate, they have disclaimed their responsibility in front of this procedure, and accordingly, we have been prevented from practicing our work, which is a source of livelihood for many families in the region. To push the government to take a position and resolve this issue, demonstrators burned tires and blocked the road with vehicles and stones to prevent cars from moving. In addition, he warned the demonstrators that they would continue to show up until the concerned authorities complied with their demands by opening the Alawite doors again.

The threat to livelihoods is one of the topics that most push citizens to come out in demonstrations.

Photo (4)

Protesters were filmed blocking the main road between Erbil and Mosul

Despite the continuation of the demonstration for two days in a row, there was no government reaction to the demonstrators ' demands. As of the writing of this report, the attic doors are still

closed to its employees. There was no security presence of the security forces in the area, but there was a weak presence by the media, only the presence of the Roj news channel to cover the event besides social media.

Photo (5)

Photos of the protesters from the workers in the farmer’s market Erbil

Reasons for demonstration/protesters’demands

Through a review ofthe demonstrations that took place in several Iraqi provinces, the mostprominent reasons for its launch are:

* Poor service.

* Poor management.

* Fines imposed oncitizens.

* Threateningcitizens' livelihoods.


Remarks onsecurity authorities' handling of gatherings:

It can be said thatthe security forces did not adhere to their professional standards in dealingwith the demonstrations, as they were divided between not being present in theareas where the demonstrations took place and using force to dispersedemonstrations and sit-ins. The scene of violence by security forces has beenrepeated more than once and in more than one province. This makes us thinkabout the professionalism of the security forces. We also think about how theydeal with demonstrators, and the reasons security forces resort to violenceagainst demonstrators. Even though violence is contrary to human rights, internationalstandards, and democracy, Iraq monitors violence to suppress demonstrations. Inaddition, the absence of security forces during the demonstration may be anegative indicator of the performance of the security forces.

Kurdistan Organization for Human Right Watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org