16 December 2019
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Lebanon and Iraq are rising up against constitutions that have empowered religious factions—and enabled their corruption. he recent mass protests in Lebanon and Iraq seem at first glance to differ greatly from each other. In Iraq, the protesters mostly consisted of angry young working-class men, and they were quickly confronted with violence. In Lebanon, meanwhile, the protests have been marked by that country’s unmistakable sense of style and festive spirit, and the initiators have mostly been from the upper social…
Tehran may be good at winning influence, but it is bad at ruling after that. In less than a month, demonstrations against corruption and a lack of economic reform erupted in both Iraq and Lebanon. In both countries, the unprecedented protests, which rocked Shiite towns and cities, have revealed that Iran’s system for exerting influence in the region failed. For the Shiite communities in Iraq and Lebanon, Tehran and its proxies have failed to translate military and political victories into…
It has been more than two weeks since mass protests erupted in Iraq, with the Iraqi people expressing outrage that their annual demonstrations calling for more accountability, transparency and democracy have been ignored. Iraqis have taken things up a notch after accepting that there is no hope for the defunct political system that was forcibly shoved down their throats at the point of an American gun barrel in 2003 and are calling for the system to be reformed and overhauled.…
The Iraqi authorities must immediately end a relentless campaign of intimidation and assault against activists in Baghdad and reveal the whereabouts of others, among them a doctor and a lawyer forcibly disappeared more than 10 days ago, Amnesty International said today. The organization has spoken to 11 activists, relatives of detained activists, as well as journalists and lawyers from Baghdad, Diwaniya, Basra and Amarah. Their testimony shows that Iraqi security forces are systematically targeting anyone speaking out against the conduct…

Why are Iraqis angry at Iran? Thursday, 17 October 2019 20:37

The Iraqi government has promised reforms after a violent crackdown on demonstrations, but protesters still distrust the government and believe the blame lies with Iran. During the two weeks after protests first swept through the country, Iraqis saw two contrasting sides of the government: a brutal crackdown launched by its militias and security forces that killed more than 180 Iraqi protesters; and the promise of reforms, with two new ministers being inducted into the government.  Instead of instilling hope in…
ith the mass protests in Iraq continuing, the international community has remained silent on the situation. Since the beginning of this month, thousands of Iraqi people have taken to the streets to protest the government over the high rates of unemployment, corruption allegations and Iran's growing influence in the country. Hundreds of people were killed by security forces and, according to claims in Iraqi media, by pro-Iranian militias. However, regional and international powers have kept silent over the ongoing conflict.The…
When Muhanad Habib, a 22-year-old Iraqi from the Sadr City district of Baghdad, posted on Facebook in late September, he probably didn’t imagine that his demands for a better life and basic rights would be met with bullets. It will be a huge and angry public revolution in Baghdad … We will take to the streets protesting … Enough silence about what’s going on in Iraq. We cannot just watch Iraq being destroyed when we have armies of jobless and poor. This…

Iranian regime profiting from Iraqi chaos Monday, 14 October 2019 22:21

As anti-government rallies began in Iraq in early October, the security forces responded with brute force, killing more than 100 protesters and injuring thousands more. Mainstream media outlets have mainly concentrated on the domestic aspect of these protests, which include people’s grievances with the Iraqi government due to the high rate of unemployment, widespread financial and political corruption, and the lack of public services, such as electricity and drinking water. However, one key reason for these demonstrations and the dire…
WASHINGTON - Protests in Iraq have centred on Iranian influence in the country and may provide the United States with a “strategic opening,” experts said. Baghdad may be forced to make a choice between Tehran and Washington as protests reflected resentment of Iranian sway over Iraqi governance. Iraq has toed a tenuous line between its relationship with Iran and its vital ties to the United States. The Iraqi protests began after dismissal of the Iraqi counterterrorism chief, Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, who…

Youth driving opposition to Iraqi corruption Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:16

Even as protests in Baghdad and the southern provinces appear to have subsided for now, the fact is that Iraq finds itself in the eye of a political storm that threatens to bring down the one-year-old government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. More than 100 people were killed and over 6,000 injured, according to security sources, in six days of sporadic and spontaneous anti-government protests, where riot police and the army are accused of using live ammunition against largely…

Iraq: Lethal Force Used Against Protesters Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:07

Beirut) – Iraqi security forces have used excessive and unnecessary lethal force in confronting at times rock-throwing protesters, killing at least 105 and wounding over 4,000 since October 1, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces followed protesters as they dispersed, shooting at them and spraying them with scalding water cannons. The protests started in Baghdad and southern cities on October 1, with protesters demanding improved services and more action to curb corruption. Apparent members of security forces interfered with media…

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