Report Oct #1 22 EN

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

In the midst of relative silence, the October anniversary portends the spark of demonstrations in Iraq again

It can be said that the October revolution, since its inception, has emerged as an indication that the popular movement in Iraq is no longer satisfied with the limits of its economic demands represented in providing water, electricity and infrastructure services, improving economic conditions, and other immediate problems. Rather, it was launched as a call for radical change in Iraq, as the popular movement moved towards more daring steps, which were represented by demands for change and comprehensive treatment away from patchwork solutions. These demonstrations have become an example through which the mass demands that express the desire of the protesters and demonstrators can be abridged to a new political system away from the quota system that has put the country on the brink of the abyss. This report will review the demonstrations monitored by the monitoring team during the first half of October 2022 in several Iraqi governorates.

  • Baghdad governorate demonstrations 10/1-2022

On Saturday, the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, witnessed demonstrations on the third anniversary of the "Tishreen Movement", which began in 2019, demanded an end to corruption and the rule of the

ruling parties in Iraq, which lasted for almost two decades. The demonstrations started from Al-Tahrir and Al-Nusour Squares in the center of the capital, Baghdad, in light of the heavy deployment of security forces, in commemoration of the third anniversary of the October protests. One of the demonstrators indicated that the aim of these demonstrations is to emphasize the protesters' demands, foremost of which is the accountability of the killers of the demonstrators, and the rejection of this ruling regime.

As for security, the security forces used tear gas canisters against the demonstrators to disperse and keep them away from the concrete blocks in the Green Zone, which led to the injury of several demonstrators. This action by the security forces exacerbated tensions between the demonstrators and the security forces.

  To remedy the development of the situation for the worse, Prime Minister - Mustafa al Kazemi directed the security services in a statement to prevent the use of live bullets, rubber bullets, and smoke bombs and inspect the demonstration grounds to ensure that firearms are not carried, and to secure protection for the demonstration yards.

The demonstrations that erupted in Baghdad demanded regime change and the formation of an Iraqi national government that would be loyal to Iraq. In addition, the protesters demanded compensation for the families of the October victims, treating the wounded and disabled, ending the file of the disappeared, and holding everyone who had a hand in killing the demonstrators accountable. The October demonstrations started in 2019. They were interspersed with violence resulting in the deaths of 800 demonstrators and the injuries of 27,000 without any party accepting responsibility. 

There were many media channels, including Al-Mirbad, and social media channels.

  • Demonstrations in Babylon governorate on 13-10-2022

Similar to Baghdad province, the demonstration began in the province of Babil, where demonstrators and residents of the province of Babylon gathered with a rally and a march to commemorate the beginning of the 

October protests, where Babylon activists were responsible for mobilization and coordination. Revolutionaries Square to emphasize the turning out in a demonstration and a rally to commemorate October protests. Dozens of the people of Babylon participated in the vigil, where several demonstrators burned tires to block the main roads near the Al-Thawra Bridge as a movement to escalate and in response to the events of repression that occurred near Al-Jumhuriya Bridge for demonstrators in Baghdad. It is worth noting that the security forces avoided collision with the demonstrators.

During the demonstration, the families of the martyrs of the Babylon protests in 2019 were also present inside Babylon square. In addition to the families of the martyrs, the memorial vigil included activists, educated local figures, teachers, and journalists, as the demonstrators carried Iraqi flags and photos of the martyrs. In the media, many news channels were monitored to cover the third October anniversary vigil, and there were no cases of violence or friction with the presence of the riot squad. After hours of demonstrations, the demonstration ended with the withdrawal of the demonstrators without registering any significant cases of violence, as there was no form of arrest or detention of demonstrators at the memorial vigil. In the media, many news press agencies, such as a news channel and Al-Arba TV channel, attended to cover the memorial vigil.

It can be said that Iraqis view the October demonstrations as an icon and a sign of hope for change for the better.

  • Demonstrations in Diwaniyah

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Diwaniya to commemorate the third anniversary of the start of the 2019 protests; where demonstrators launched a protest march in front of Masffa Masjid to the rounabout of the clock, where the march began with music, the national anthem, raising of Iraqi flags as well as banners and some

The theme of commemorating the anniversary of October has stirred the Iraqi street again, which can be considered an indicator of the launch of a new wave of demonstrations in Iraq.

photos of the victims of the October demonstrations in memory of their sacrifice. In an exclusive interview with the Monitoring Team, one of the demonstrators said that while political paralysis continued in Iraq for months, Baghdad and some central and southern governorates witnessed a mass demonstration. In addition, thousands of people commemorated the third anniversary of the start of their uprising against the corruption and incompetence of the ruling elite.

The demonstrators renewed the slogans they had raised in 2019, including "the people want to overthrow the regime."

In addition to the above, another protester pointed out in an interview that the big parties themselves still monopolize the political scene and a year after the legislative elections in October 2021, politicians are still struggling unable to In the media, the demonstration was monitored and documented through social networking sites. Nonetheless, the role of the security forces was limited to facilitating the movement of demonstrators and providing security, cooperation, and support to the demonstrators without registering any instances of violence; this was evident during the peaceful assembly when the security forces demonstrated professionalism in dealing with the demonstrators.

The reasons for the demonstrations / the demands of the demonstrators

By reviewing the demonstrations and events in several Iraqi provinces, it becomes clear that the most prominent reasons that led to the launch of the demonstrations are the following:

  • Commemorating the October 2019 demonstrations and the call for them.
  • Renew the call to stand up against corruption.
  • The trial of those who caused the martyrdom of the October demonstrators
  • Compensation for the victims of the October demonstrations.
  • Demand radical reforms.


Remarks on the security authorities ' handling of gatherings:

The nature of the launched demonstrations was similar in terms of theme and goals, which focused on commemorating the October demonstrations and finding solutions to the dire reality of Iraq. However, by looking at the nature of the demonstrations in different governorates, a difference was observed in the reactions of the security forces. The demonstrations that started in Baghdad were characterized by violence, as the security forces threw tear gas grenades in order to disperse the demonstrators and keep them away from the barrier of concrete blocks surrounding the green zone, as this action is an unprofessional measure and incompatible with the role of the security forces entrusted with protecting citizens. On the other hand, other demonstrations have included signs of riots, such as burning tires and blocking roads. However, now the security forces ' handling of the demonstrators has differed, characterized by flexibility and neutrality. Furthermore, the forces committed not to collide with the demonstrators in the provinces and avoid escalation with the demonstrators. Therefore, the behavior of the security forces in other provinces can be considered more professional compared to Baghdad province.

Kurdistan organization for human right watch


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