Report Sep #1 En 23

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

Violent demonstrations and military intervention to end the crisis

Violence has returned to take its toll on Iraq once again. This is a negative indicator of the situation the country is going through. The spread of violence will have a serious impact on the democratic process in the country. It can also return the political process there to the anxious conditions that accompanied the establishment of the political process after 2003. Failure to resolve constitutional matters and leave them unresolved may ultimately negatively impact citizens' lives and may have undesirable repercussions in the future. As part of this report, we will review the two demonstrations that were monitored by the monitoring team in Kirkuk and Dohuk governorates during the first half of September 2023:

  • Demonstrations - Kirkuk Governorate 02-09-202 3                    

On Saturday, September 2, 2023, a demonstration was launched in which citizens of Arab and Turkmen nationalism participated in front of a Kurdistan Democratic Party building on the Kirkuk-Erbil road in the middle of Kurdish neighborhoods, under the supervision of Arab tribal sheikhs, refusing to return the building to the party and blocking the highway in both directions.  This demonstration came as a result of the central government's intention to return the

In multinational governorates, consolidating the principles of democracy may be the most appropriate solution to ensure peaceful coexistence for all.


building that was occupied by the Democratic Party as its headquarters in Kirkuk Governorate, which had been abandoned since 2017 due to the tensions that emerged between the central government and the Democratic Party. Intending to strengthen the relationship between the federal government and the Democratic Party, and as a goodwill gesture by the government, it decided to return the building to the Kurdistan Democratic Party,  in addition to returning all the 33 headquarters that the Democratic Party had occupied as its headquarters throughout the governorate. This matter was rejected by the Arab and Turkmen components. They set up a camp in front of the building to protest the government's decision. Police said that violence broke out when a group of Kurdish protesters approached the camp on Saturday and a clash occurred between them. The demonstrations included Kurdish residents on the one hand and Arabs and

Turkmen on the other hand. Security forces were deployed to separate the two sides and fired

warning shots to force the demonstrators from both sides to disperse and contain the crisis.

The sources indicated that there were deaths and injuries during the collision. Reports confirmed that 4 members of the Kurdish nationality were killed as a result of gunshot wounds, and 15 others were injured.  Security officials and police in the city said they were investigating the circumstances of the accident. Kirkuk police also reported that there were injuries among members of the two protesting groups after throwing stones and using metal rods to attack each other.

Photo (1)

It shows traces of violence due to the clashes between the components of the governorate

As a government response and in an official statement by the Iraqi government, The Iraqi army spokesman, Major General Yahya Rasoul, said that Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani directed “to impose a curfew in Kirkuk and initiate broad security operations in the areas that witnessed riots for thorough inspection  ” Al-Sudani also ordered the security services in Kirkuk to “take their role in establishing security and imposing the rule of law against rioters in the governorate,” and to “be... firm .” For his part, Al-Sudani called on “all political parties and social and popular activities to take their role in warding off strife and maintaining security, stability and order in Kirkuk Governorate.” He also called for the formation of a committee to investigate these events. Media: Many media channels covered the events, in addition to social media such as Facebook.


Demonstrations - Dohuk Governorate 05 - 09 -2023   


On Tuesday, September 5, 2023, a massive demonstration was held, as thousands of Kurdish demonstrators came out in the Dohuk Governorate, raising the flags of the Kurdistan region, to protest the delay in paying the salaries of government employees. They called on the Iraqi government to pay financial dues to employees in the region. Employees in the region did not receive their salaries for nearly three months.

The demonstration began with demonstrators arriving early in the morning at Newroz Park in the

city of Dohuk, coming from Shekhan, Simil, the independent administration of Zakho, Akre, Amidi, and most parts of Dohuk Governorate, where they gathered to participate in the protest demonstration. From the park, the demonstration began with the participation of employees, Peshmerga, clerics, unions, and non-governmental organizations, in protest against the central

government’s refusal to pay financial dues to the Kurdistan Region. The protesters demanded the implementation of the articles of the Iraqi constitution related to the Kurds, the transfer of financial dues to the Kurdistan region, and the implementation of the recent agreement between Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani. The demonstrators appealed, through a protest note, to international bodies working in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, to work to force the authorities in Baghdad to commit to implementing the constitution and not to evade the agreements concluded with Erbil.

The issue of deciding the financial budget and disbursing benefits to employees has become one of the topics that has been discussed for a long time. As days pass, the citizen is the one who pays the bill for these crises.

Photo (1)

Demonstrators were found in Dohuk Governorate, demanding their financial dues

During the demonstration, the demonstrators submitted a note of protest and legitimate demands to international bodies working in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. The memorandum includes several demands, including stopping hostile policies for the Kurdistan Region and the necessity to

respect the Constitution and implement all its articles, including Article 140. In addition to the commitment to implement the agreements concluded between the regional government and the federal government and adherence to the general budget law to guarantee employees’ salaries and all the region’s entitlements.

In addition to the issue of late salaries, the demonstrators called for the need for the Iraqi government to limit the violence that broke out in Kirkuk Governorate and the need to punish those who contributed to threatening peaceful coexistence in Kirkuk Governorate. For his part, the Governor of Dohuk, Mr - Ali Tatar - The demonstration is, above all, a demonstration of sympathy for the legitimate rights of the people of Kirkuk, their martyrs, their wounded, and their oppressed, in addition to demanding the implementation of the Constitution, especially Article 140 thereof, and the implementation of the agreement concluded between the Prime Minister in the Kurdistan Region and the federal government.

Security forces dealt professionally with the demonstration, and their role was limited to protecting and organizing the demonstration. As for the media, there were many media channels, both local and international. What is worth noting is that the demonstration began peacefully and continued peacefully until its end.


Reasons for the demonstration/demands of the demonstrators

By reviewing the two demonstrations That took place in Kirkuk and Dohuk governorates. The most prominent reasons that led to its launch are THE FOLLOWING.

1-         Objection to the return of the Democratic Party to Kirkuk Governorate by Arab and Turkmen nationalism in particular.

2-         Delayed payment of salaries.

3-         Demanding the implementation of constitutional articles.

4-         Working to enhance security in Kirkuk Governorate and protect citizens.


Notes on how security agencies deal with gatherings:

Although the nature of the two demonstrations differed in terms of topic and content. However, the security forces seemed focused on containing the situation and attempting the violence that occurred, especially in Kirkuk Governorate. Despite the casualties and accusations that the security forces were negligent, they succeeded in containing the crisis in Kirkuk and imposing control over the situation there. This matter can be taken into account by the security forces in the governorate. On the other hand, in Dohuk Governorate, the security forces showed high professionalism in dealing with the demonstrators. This may be because the demonstration was expressing a popular demand in the region.

Kurdistan Organization for Human Right Watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org