Report Oct #2 22 EN

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

From October to Iraqi Airways and demands for change

Since its inception, the specter of the October revolution was the biggest fear of government agencies, fearing the outbreak of a new wave of violence, especially after the formation of the new government amid the opposition by the Iraqi street and parliament. However, these fears vanished at the political and popular levels after the weak response to these demonstrations. Nevertheless, unlike its predecessors, the launching of demonstrations by the Iraqi Airways employees and the quick handling of the demands can be considered a good sign to indicate the new government's intention to build confidence between it and the citizens. This report will review the demonstrations monitored by the monitoring team during the second half of October 2022 in several Iraqi governorates

  • Baghdad Governorate demonstrations 10-25-2022

 On Tuesday, the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, witnessed demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the "Tishreen Movement," which began in 2019. However, it is noteworthy that these demonstrations,

Disappointing expectations for activists in the demonstrations commemorating October.

 Although hundreds of demonstrators flocked to Tahrir Square, expectations were greater about the October commemoration activities' size, strength, and attendance. One of the demonstrators - indicated that they were expecting thousands of demonstrators to attend the October commemoration, but the numbers here can be said to be disappointing. Despite the calls for this demonstration announced earlier on social media, the response of citizens and 

Picture (1)

Shows part of the Baghdad demonstrations to commemorate October

contrary to expectations, did not find a mass turnout by the citizens, as hundreds of demonstrators went to Tahrir Square to commemorate October and renew calls for an end to corruption.

activists was not possible to the required level. In an interview with the Monitoring Team, one of the demonstrators explained that the demonstration's weakness was due to the pressures and threats. The activists

were subjected to armed militias and the government and kidnapping of many activists based on false accusations.

As for security, there were fears of these demonstrations, so the security forces dispersed the protesters who gathered in Tahrir Square, as indicated by the monitoring team, which led to clashes between the security forces and demonstrators in Tahrir Square, which witnessed an intense security deployment, and to control these demonstrations. In addition, the security forces closed many roads and bridges leading to the Green Zone.

  • Demonstrations in Baghdad Governorate (Baghdad International Airport) 10-25-2022

In an unprecedented situation, Baghdad International Airport witnessed a strike. The strike was initiated by workers in 

front of the company's building, demanding the dismissal of the general manager. Moreover, the airline's general manager and the transfer of contract workers at the airport to permanent staffs.

Disappointing expectations for activists in the demonstrations commemorating October.

The demonstration was initiated by airport workers assembling in front of the airline company's headquarters. They were holding banners with several demands, including accelerating the procedures for confirming contracts for those who have completed at least two years of work on a contract following a Cabinet decision that indicated the possibility 

of hiring contract workers who had completed at least two years of service. He also called on the demonstrators to give all rights to the martyred employee - Muhammad Malik - who was martyred during the recent events. In addition, one of the demonstrators - indicated that airlines are a sensitive institution that must be run by a person familiar with aviation matters and work requirements to be able to deal with airline workers on a professional level.

Photo (2)

Demonstrations of Baghdad Airport employees in protest against the decisions of the Director General

The demonstrators also requested the return of several engineers who, according to them, had been unfairly relocated despite the company's technical staff shortage. Nevertheless, they were transferred to other institutions, and the procedures for transferring engineers were not legal but based on personal judgments issued by the company's general manager.

Governmentally, there was a response to the demands of the demonstrators when the Minister of Transport - Razzaq Muhaibis - went to the demonstrations of the employees of the Iraqi Airways company inside Baghdad International Airport to listen to their demands to work on solving them. In response to the demonstrators' demands, the Director General of Airlines - Karim Kazem - was dismissed, and the technical agent of the Ministry of Transport, - Talib Bayesh - was appointed. Furthermore, according to a published document, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport for Administrative Affairs - Hazem Radi - has assigned the technical representative of the ministry, Talib Baish, to supervise the company, provided that the decisions of the dismissed director are reviewed, especially those related to transportation and placement.

In the media, these demonstrations were covered by several channels, including Alsumaria TV and Fallujah, and social media channels. As for security, no security personnel was visible in the vicinity, except for firm employees who did not interfere with the demonstration. Their work was limited to protecting the company in anticipation of any reaction from the demonstrators.

Photo (3)

A copy of the ministry's letter to dismiss the general manager of Iraqi Airways

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 main reasons that led to their launch are the following:

  • Commemorating the Tishreen demonstrations and the call they called for in 2019.
  • Renewing the call to stand against corruption.
  • Dismissal of the airport general manager
  • Placing contract workers on permanent staffs.


Notes on the security authorities’ handling of gatherings:

We can say that the security forces' handling of sensitive issues since the October anniversary is still met with violence and repulsion. Therefore, the monitoring team to disperse the protesters and the demonstrators to commemorate October noticed the violence. Therefore, it can be said that the security forces are still unprofessional in dealing with the demonstrators and use violence to end the demonstrations, especially in the province of Baghdad. This matter may be attributed to the sensitivity of the situation in Baghdad concerning forming the new government. Furthermore, the violence that emerged in the recent demonstrations in some Iraqi provinces to commemorate October.

Kurdistan organization for human right watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org