By John Lee.

The Iraqi government and parliament should pass legislation to address key human rights shortcomings in Iraq’s legal system and take measures to minimize the risks Covid-19 poses to people in prison, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

With the formation of Iraq’s government on May 7, 2020, parliament can now focus on legislative reform.

Human Rights Watch has identified four key areas to advance human rights in Iraq, around which previous governments and parliaments have drafted and reviewed legislative proposals but did not pass them.

There are many areas for which legislative reform is needed to bring Iraqi law in line with international standards, but the bills already offered address legal representation, torture, enforced disappearance, and domestic violence.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

By John Lee.

Iraqi authorities ramped up violent tactics to quash ongoing protests across Baghdad and southern Iraq between January 25 and 27, 2020, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Friday.

Security forces set fire to protesters’ tents, fired live ammunition, and detained protesters in Baghdad, Basra, and Nasriya.

Human Rights Watch was unable to determine the extent of casualties or numbers detained.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

As protests in Iraq enter their third month, the numbers of arrests, abductions, and killings of protesters continue to rise, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

But instead of protecting the demonstrators mostly peacefully protesting on Iraq’s streets, some security forces are the ones attacking and killing them.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi had promised in a letter to Human Rights Watch that security forces would no longer use live ammunition against protesters, before announcing his own resignation on November 29.

But killings and abductions of protesters have continued.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

As protests in Iraq enter their third month, the numbers of arrests, abductions, and killings of protesters continue to rise, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

But instead of protecting the demonstrators mostly peacefully protesting on Iraq’s streets, some security forces are the ones attacking and killing them.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi had promised in a letter to Human Rights Watch that security forces would no longer use live ammunition against protesters, before announcing his own resignation on November 29.

But killings and abductions of protesters have continued.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

At least seven people, including a boy of 16, were reported missing since October 7 from or near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where they were participating in ongoing protests in Iraq’s capital, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.

Four were still missing as of December 2. The families said they visited police stations and government offices seeking information without success, and the government took no tangible measures to locate their relatives.

It is unclear whether government security or armed groups carried out the abductions. In another two cases, security forces arrested and arbitrarily held protest supporters.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

By John Lee.

Iraqi security forces have attacked medical workers for treating protesters since protests began on October 25, 2019, firing on medical workers, tents, and ambulances with teargas and live ammunition, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday. The attacks have left at least one medic dead.

Medics have become another victim of the state’s excessive force,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These attacks show an utter disregard for the overriding need to ensure medical workers can do their essential job.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

By John Lee.

Authorities in Anbar governorate are suppressing the right of residents to show support for demonstrations elsewhere in the country, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

In recent days, they have arrested two men for merely posting messages of solidarity on Facebook, questioned a third, and sent a fourth into hiding.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi government is denying thousands of children whose parents have a perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation of their right to access an education, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

The children, who were born or lived in areas under the control of ISIS between 2014 and 2017, lack the civil documentation the Iraqi government requires for school enrollment and the government is making it difficult for them to acquire it.

More here.

(Source: HRW)

Several members of Iraq’s parliament and the province’s deputy governor visited prisons near Mosul, Iraq, calling what they found a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

This happened two days after Human Rights Watch (HRW) released research detailing the horrible conditions of the prisons, which hold terrorism suspects.

Immediately after our report release, local authorities claimed Human Rights Watch’s research was “fallacious.” But the government’s tone has since changed. One parliamentarian admitted that “what Human Rights Watch reported was small relative to the actual catastrophe inside the prisons of Nineveh.

Nongovernmental organizations working on these issues have said that Human Rights Watch’s research has made their work easier. Human Rights Watch has also been told that the report release has positively supported their work and has sparked serious conversations in Baghdad about addressing prison conditions.

More here

(Source: HRW)