03 December 2020
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Baghdad, May 24 (IANS): A total of 123 people have been kidnapped since the anti-government protests first broke out in Iraq until March 21, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a report. The abducted people, mostly political activists before the rallies, took part in or supported demonstrations that began on October 1, 2019 and criticized the government or political groups on social media, the report issued by UNAMI on Saturday said. All of them were kidnapped in public…
There has long been a perception in Iraq that journalists live high-rolling lives, free from the pressures that many face in the country on a daily basis. But the reality is often one of death threats, and financial and political pressure. One such case is that of Ali Jawad, a former journalist with the state-owned Al-Iraqiya TV news outlet. On 5 March the director of the Iraqi Media Network - which own Al-Iraqiya - issued a statement asking the finance department to…
On Tuesday, police in Baghdad detained a shopkeeper after he said on Facebook that he had bribed an officer to allow him to keep his store open during the coronavirus lockdown. In response, police officers forcibly shaved his head and beard, posting photos of the result on social media. Though the interior ministry has said it is investigating the incident, for many Iraqis it illustrates the impunity with which the country’s security forces are allowed to operate - despite promises from…
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – When 752 tons of wheat went missing from a state grain silo in Najaf this year, the site manager claimed it had been pilfered by flocks of hungry birds. Anti-graft officials aren’t convinced. Iraq’s integrity commission, parliament, and provincial officials in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf have launched a probe into the alleged avian antics, which seem a little farfetched.As the missing grain is said to be worth at least $350,000, investigators believed it was stolen by…
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Iraq has one of the highest numbers of missing people in the world. The International Commission on Missing Persons, which has been working in partnership with the Iraqi government to help recover and identify the missing, estimates that the number could range from 250,000 to one million. Since 2016, Human Rights Watch has been documenting continued enforced disappearances by Iraqi security forces. As far as the organization is aware, authorities in Baghdad and in the Kurdistan Region…
The anti-government protests that have rocked Iraq's southern provinces since last year are now a co-ordinated movement that will soon put forward a unified list of demands, activists said in an online briefing on Friday. The protests abated amid a lockdown to contain the country's coronavirus outbreak but flared up again last week after the appointment of former national intelligence chief Mustafa Al Kadhimi as prime minister. “We will not stop until our demands are met and if we feel…
Iraqi courts have freed jailed anti-government protesters, carrying out one of the first major orders from the new prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Iraqis have the constitutional right to protest "provided that it is not accompanied by an act contrary to the law," the Supreme Judiciary Council said in a statement. The new prime minister told reports after his first cabinet meeting Saturday night that demonstrators need to be protected and that only those involved in violence should stay locked up.…
BASRA: Iraqi security forces arrested at least five men from a local political party’s headquarters in the southern city of Basra Monday after a protester was shot dead outside the building. It was the first death since modest anti-government protests resumed on Sunday, ending months of relative calm just as new Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhemi was sworn in. Kadhemi has extended a hand to demonstrators and promised accountability for the more than 550 people killed in violence at anti-government rallies…
 After releasing anti-government protesters from jail, new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced Monday he would bring to justice those who attacked them. Kadhimi, Iraq's former intelligence head, said he responded to weekend attacks on protesters in the Basra region with warrants and arrests. Internet videos showed that armed men fired down from a building in Basra on protesters Sunday, killing one and wounding others, the news agency Rudaw reported. "I ordered today a dawn military raid to arrest everyone involved…
Iraq’s new prime minister made a significant gesture towards the country’s protest movement on Sunday as the country’s judiciary ordered courts to release all protesters held in prison. In a briefing on Saturday, he vowed to ensure their release, except those involved in violence, and announced the opening of an investigation into anti-government rallies that have descended into violence since October so the families of those killed while protesting can be compensated. The Supreme Judiciary Council said in a statement…
Anti-government rallies resumed in some Iraqi cities on Sunday, clashing with security forces and ending months of relative calm just days after Prime Minister Mustafa al Kazimi's government came to power. The protests first erupted in Baghdad and southern cities in October, demanding an end to corruption and unemployment and an overhaul of the ruling class. But internal splits, a rise in US-Iran tensions and a lockdown imposed by coronavirus effectively snuffed out the movement earlier this year, leaving a…

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