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.

The Protection of HRDs and unionists, is The duty of the Iraqi Government


Update:  A thanking letter from the trade union:

On my own and my family. and my colleagues in the General Union for workers in the oil and gas and the Committee of the employees of the South Oil workers and staff of the General Federation of Trade Unions working in Iraq. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for the statement that you made during this month and which you have shown your solidarity with me and what has happened in my family from breaking into my house and terrorize everyone at gunpoint. Your Solidarity that had a significant impact in raising up my spirits and my colleagues in the trade union movement, also confirms that we are not alone in continuing our struggle for Iraqi human rights as well as the rights of Iraqi workers. I totally agree with you that we are exposed to risks as a result of this struggle is a multi and the Iraqi government does not pay it any attention at all. Again I assure that your solidarity with us is the cornerstone of our success.

Thank you dear colleagues where you are and what language You talk.

Abdulkareem abdulsade

Deputy President of the Federation of Trade Unions of workers in Iraq.

President of the General Union for workers in the oil and gas.

Member of the Committee of employees of the South Oil.


This message came after a statement issued by ICSSI, result of the assault on house of unionist Abdulkareem Abdulsade, and below the text of the statement


The protection of human rights defenders is the duty of the Iraqi government, we demand an immediate investigation to take practical measures to prevent the repetition of such assaults.

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI)

Baghdad – 08 August 2016


The house of the well-known unionist and human rights defender Abdul Karim Abdul-Sada (Abu Watan), the President of the General Workers in the Oil and Gas Sector, and the member of the Employee Commission of the South Oil Company, and the Vice President of the General Federation of Workers Union Working in Basrah, was exposed to an attack in the broad daylight in Basrah city (Southern of Iraq). When an armed group raided on Monday, first of August 2016, the house of the unionist and tampered with the contents of the house and stole some of the money and property of his family. The group that pretended to be security forces have threatened the unionist and his family of physical liquidation. The Information Office of the General Federation of Workers Union in Basrah has issued a statement containing these facts.

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative believes that this attack is linked with the union activism of Mr. Abdul Karim Abdul-Sada, in the defense of human rights and workers’ rights in particular. On this basis, we demand the Iraqi governments for immediate investigation of this attack and take practical measures in providing the necessary protection to the unionist and his family. We also demand the local government in Basrah to provide the necessary protection for the human rights defenders and all the citizens of Basra, and to chase and stop the armed groups that use security forces uniforms to impersonate them. This is not the first time that human rights defenders and citizens of Basrah expose these kind of risks and threats from those groups. Therefore, we demand the central and local government for urgent actions to take their responsibilities.

In general, the risks that human rights defenders subjected to are very high and worrying. These risks indicate the failure of the government to provide the necessary protection, and those risks rises even more when it comes to the activists of trade unions and the defenders of workers’ rights, as the Iraqi government continue to impose and according to the laws of Saddam Hussein era, restrictions and obstacles on the work of the trade unions in the public sector, and threaten the activists who challenge these obstacles for union associating. In that line, we demand to guarantee of freedom of assembly and the freedom of association in Iraq in all work sectors and in accordance with the relevant international standards, we also join the Iraqi unions calls on the need to finalize the legislation of the Freedom of Association law quickly and without any delay.

To contact ICSSI, please write to this email address:

Or visit the Workers’ Rights Campaign Facebook page:

To see the original statement of the Information Office of the General Federation of Trade Unions of Workers in Basra, please click here