Iraqi organizations and unions call for the release of detained activists of the peaceful protest movement in Iraq. The names of some of those activists are shown below. The detainees are activists of the protest movement demanding a decent and free life where job opportunities are available. These activists are demanding the reform of the political system, ending corruption and sectarian quotas, preserving Iraq’s wealth, and ensuring the safety and security of its citizens. Security forces in some Iraqi provinces are trying to silence activists by arresting them and restricting their freedoms. These forces are trying to end the protest movement by spreading fear and terror in the hearts of citizens.
Security forces arrested one activist from Anbar province, Abdullah Nazim Saleh, from his home without an arrest warrant because of a Facebook post he wrote supporting the Iraqi protests and endorsing civil disobedience. Activist Samir Rashid Mahmoud has also been detained and his family is not allowed to visit him in prison. Security forces have also demanded that the families of the detainees leave Anbar province at once or else they will be removed from the province by force.
In Nasiriyah, security forces have detained a number of activists. While some activists have been released, like the activist Ammar Al-Hammadi, many remain in prison. Security forces are continuing to hold activists Ali Gasib and Safwan Essam. No information has been released about the conditions of their arrest or when they will be released.
Organizations and unions, as signatories on this statement, demand the Iraqi government disclose information about all detainees and immediately release them. We demand disclosure of the identity of the armed groups carrying out these arrests, abductions, and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators. Freedom to demonstrate is a constitutionally guaranteed right that must never be compromised.
The mass arrests carried out in order to disperse demonstrations violate the Iraqi Constitution and the universal principles of human rights. We also address the United Nations and its institutions, and all international organizations concerned with Iraqi affairs, and ask that you stand in solidarity with the Iraqis in their peaceful protests. We ask that you pressure the Iraqi government to ensure the safety of demonstrators and not deprive the Iraqi people of their fundamental rights.
Signed on this call:
General Federation of Trade Unions of Iraq
National Union of Journalists
Syndicate of Engineering
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq
Information Center for Research and Development
Al Namaa Center for Human Rights
Tammuz Organization for Social Development
Citizenship Society for Human Rights
Ashure Banipal Social Association
The Tigris River Protectors Association
Sport against violence
Ufuq Organization for Human Development
Al-Ghad Organization for Dialogue and Development
Shaqofian Organization for Development and Culture
The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI)
Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM)
Iraqi Council for Peace and Solidarity
Nawaat Center for Human Development
Women for Peace
Iraqi Center for Labor Culture
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