At dawn on 27 October 2019, in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, unidentified persons raided the homes of a number of activists and journalists and took them to an unknown destination. This is a shocking violation of freedom of expression and we, members of the Iraqi Social Forum’s freedom of expression masar, are now making an urgent appeal to all concerned organizations and actors to join us in calling for the release of these activists of the peaceful protest movement (some of whom are named below).
Those activists currently being detained are individuals who have supported the protest movement; they are people are asking for no more — and no less — than a decent and free life, where they have work and a reformed political system, free of corruption and quotas. Most of those who are now detained have been demonstrating since the early days of the protest movement, which began in 2011. These are men and women who are committed to change, and they want to find justice by peaceful means.
Thus we, members of the ISF’s freedom of expression masar, call on the Iraqi government to disclose the fate of all detainees and more, we call for their release. We call for those who have taken part in arrests, abductions and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators to be held accountable. Demonstrating is a constitutionally guaranteed right that must never be compromised.
At the same time we ask the United Nations and its relevant bodies, along with all other international organizations interested in Iraqi affairs, to join in a show of public solidarity with the Iraqis as they move forward in their peaceful uprising, and to pressure the Iraqi government to ensure the safety of demonstrators so that they receive no harm from any party that may disagree with their aims.
The following is a list of names of detainees:
- Hussain Kareem Khashef Alamel – Journalist from Dhi Qar province
- Ali Hussain Kareem Khashef Alamel – Activist from Dhi Qar province
- Ali Minjal – University professor in Dhi Qar province
- Sajad Sami Judeh (Sajad Alghareeb) – a popular poet in Dhi Qar province
- Ammar Al-Hammadi – Chairman of the Cinema Club in the Union of Dhi Qar Writers
- Karar al-Sarifi – from Dhi Qar governorate (detained since 25 October)
- Hisham Alsumari – from Dhi Qar province
- Uday al-Jabri – from Dhi Qar province
- Wisam Aldahaby – from Dhi Qar province
- Wasfi Taher – a teacher in Dhi Qar province
- Ali Mahdi – from Dhi Qar province
- Samet Alfaraj – activist from AlAnbbar province (arrested because of a post on Facebook)