03 December 2020
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As it experiences more frequent and severe droughts, sand and dust storms, soil salinization, and declining water resources, Iraq is exceptionally vulnerable to desertification and land degradation. Food shortages sparked by the COVID-19 global pandemic have sent a sobering message for Iraq to urgently protect its fragile land and biodiversity resources. The fertile soil of ancient Mesopotamia gave birth to agriculture thousands of years ago. And agriculture remains deep rooted in modern-day Iraq despite its vast oil reserves. But desertification…
Iraqi protesters say the government has not shown “seriousness” in bringing justice for the hundreds of people killed, wounded or kidnapped during anti-government protests that began last October. Newly appointed Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi vowed to hold to account all those “who shed Iraqi blood” and to unveil the truth about what happened during the months-long protests. Anti-government demonstrations erupted in Baghdad and across the south after angry Iraqis took to the streets to vent their frustrations about corruption,…
A spike in violations of the right to free expression during widespread protests at the end of the former government’s term in office and during the Covid-19 pandemic underscores the need for Iraq’s new government to reform its laws, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Iraqi authorities, including in the Kurdistan Region, have routinely used vaguely worded laws to bring criminal charges against people who express opinions they dislike. The 42-page report, “‘We Might Call You in at Any Time’: Free…
New Government Provides Some Hope as Authorities Crack Down on Activists: As decades of war and occupation come to an end, Iraqis are confronting their new era head on. A massive wave of protests across the country demanding an end to corruption and respect for human rights toppled the government in 2019. With a new prime minister in place who speaks directly to many of the protesters’ concerns, there is some hope the government may finally address some of these…
Angry protesters took to the streets of southern Iraq on Monday to vent their frustration with a lack of public services and employment opportunities, calling for the dismissal of local officials. Hundreds of demonstrators from the southern cities of Najaf, Muthanna, Diwaniyah and Nasiriyah clashed with Iraqi security forces amid a revival of the anti-government protests that erupted last October. “The movement, which is now synchronised between the southern governorates, is now demanding the resignation of officials, especially the dismissal…
New PM promises justice and compensation as he meets families of anti-government protesters Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi said on Friday that an independent “fact-finding” investigation has been launched to provide justice for the hundreds of people killed, wounded or kidnapped during anti-government protests that began last October. “Investigations have begun, and we’ve established a list of victims and another for those wounded. The government will work to compensate their families,” Mr Al Kadhimi said. The United Nations said…
Protestors in Iraq’s Dhi Qar province yesterday stormed the office of the head of the local Health Ministry forcing him to resign over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak amid the biggest rise in the number of cases over a 24-hour period. Video footage emerged on social media showing Abdul Hussain Al-Jabri signing his resignation letter after protestors barged into his office. Protests have been taking place in the province since Tuesday with several demonstrators injured and arrested, according to Al-Hurra.…
Corruption on Iraq’s borders is robbing the government of its customs income, a member of the parliamentary financial committee has warned. According to Member of the Parliamentary Financial Committee Magda Al-Tamimi 90 per cent  of Iraq’s customs revenue goes to corrupt people instead of reaching state coffers, Rudaw reported yesterday. In the interview, she referred to “forgery of 174,000 state properties”, noting that the teams from the Office of Financial Supervision and inspectors had been informed. State properties have been transferred into…
Hundreds of Iraqi activists, journalists and social media users launched a new campaign on social media calling to reveal the fate of tens of thousands of forcibly disappeared persons. The activists launched the Arabic hashtag for “where are they”, demanding the fate of thousands of Iraqis who were kidnapped or forcibly disappeared by various parties over the past two decades be revealed. Earlier this month, the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, ordered the disclosure of the fate and whereabouts of thousands…
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 A.M.) – According to a new report, there are diplomatic efforts made in secret by Tehran to change its policies towards Iraq after the assassination of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani during a U.S. raid near Baghdad International Airport. Citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported that the goal of the new methods pursued by Iran is to break the political deadlock in Baghdad, and to accelerate the departure of nearly 5,000 US soldiers from Iraq, according to three…
None of the perpetrators has been detained or tried for the crimes, the report said.  BAGHDAD – Hundreds of people were killed and thousands wounded in the anti-government protests in Iraq last fall and winter that halted political life and immobilized cities from Baghdad to Basra. In addition, more than 100 people were abducted, and some tortured, by armed groups opposed to the protests, according to a report released Saturday by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance…

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