Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

An Urgent Appeal From the International Community to President Barham Salih and the Iraqi Authorities

Since October 1, 2019, massive demonstrations have taken place across Iraq to protest government corruption, high unemployment, and inadequate government services. These overwhelmingly peaceful protests have been met with brutal repression by state and non-state forces, resulting in more than 400 deaths, more than 15,000 injuries, and countless abductions, disappearances and arbitrary arrests as of the beginning of December.

We the undersigned civil society leaders, human rights defenders, peace and nonviolence activists, MPs and other political leaders, call upon the Iraqi President Barham Salih and the authorities in Iraq to:

1.Immediately fulfill their constitutional and international obligations to protect the freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression, by allowing protesters to peacefully gather without fear of violence, repression or arrest.

2.President Barham Salih should open direct discussions with the protesters to select an independent person to form a new, temporary government according to article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution.

3.Ensure that all human rights defenders and the media are able to operate without restrictions, including judicial harassment. Fully respect the freedom of the press and ensure that there are no further attacks on journalists and media offices.

4.End the unlawful blocking of access to the Internet and/or social media platforms.

5.Order the police and security forces to stop all use of excessive, including lethal force against the protesters.

6.Conduct independent, impartial, and thorough investigations of all instances of the use of excessive and lethal force—by both state and non-state actors. Publically disseminate the results of the investigations and bring those responsible to justice in accordance the highest standards of international law.

7.End the arbitrary arrest and detention of peaceful demonstrators and human rights defenders, some of whom were beaten. Immediately and unconditionally release all peaceful protesters who have been detained and provide medical treatment to all who need it.

8.Instruct Iraqi embassies around the world to grant visas to the undersigned and to other members of the international community to travel to Iraq and meet with representatives of the protesters, Iraqi civil society, and the government in order to engage in dialogue that can help build a better future for all Iraqis.

1AmatoAndreaItalyPresident of the Institute for the Mediterranean
2AttreeLarryUKHead of Global Policy and AdvocacySaferworld
3BenjaminMedeaU.S.Founder, CODEPINK Women for Peace
4BennisPhyllisU.S.Director, New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies
5CamussoSusannaItalyHead of International policies of the Italian trade union CGIL
6ChiavacciFrancescaItalyPresident of the Italian network ARCI
7ChomskyNoamU.S.Peace Activist, Cambridge, MA
8Costanzo PittalugaSimonettaSpainPresident of Novact 
9D’AfflittoIsabella CaraItalyUniversity Professor of Modern and Contemporary Arabic Literature
10Gervasoni VilaLucaSpainPresident of (Network of Catalan NGOs) 
11HildyardNickUKCorner House
12KellyKathyU.S.Voices for Creative Nonviolence
13LambertMichelCanadaExecutive Director of ALTERNATIVES Canada 
14LapsleyFather MichaelSouth AfricaAnti-apartheid activist and Director of the Institute for Healing of Memories
15LarsenOda Sofie HeienNorwayChairperson of the Norwegian Social Forum.
16MassiahGustaveFranceFrench economist and urbanist
17MorgantiniLuisaItalyFormer vice president of European Parlament
18NaglerMichaelU.S.Founder, Metta Center for Nonviolence
19NicotraAlfioItalyCo-President of Un Ponte Per 
20ReuterConnyItalyGeneral Secretary, Solidar 
21SaccoDon RenatoItalyCoordinator of Pax Christi
22SalehMamonUKCampaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
23SchmidEstellaUKPeace in Kurdistan
24SgrenaGiulianaItalyItalian Journalist worked for a long time in Iraq
25SweeneySteveUKInternational Editor, Morning Star
26UdaFrancoItalyForeign Manager the Italian network ARCI
27VenturiniFedericoItalyUniversity professor , University of Udine (Italy)
28Vrijhoef Vincent Netherlands PAX – Program Manager in Iraq 
29WilliamsJodyU.S.Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997), Chair, Nobel Women’s Initiative
30ZahraYaseminU.S.U.S. Labor Against the War