Statement: Urgent Appeal from the International Community to President Barham Salih and the Iraqi Authorities

Desember, 2019

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 that 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 platorms.
  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 beVer future for all Iraqis.
  • Amato, Andrea. President of the Institute for the Mediterranean (Italy)
  • Attree, Larry. Head of Global Policy and Advocacy Saferworld (UK)
  • Benjamin, Medea. Founder of CODEPINK Women for Peace (U.S.)
  • Bennis, Phyllis. Director of New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies (U.S.)
  • Camusso, Susanna. Head of International policies of the Italian trade union CGIL (Italy)
  • Chiavacci, Francesca. President of the Italian network ARCI (Italy)
  • Chomsky, Noam. Peace Activist, Cambridge, MA (U.S.)
  • Costanzo Pittaluga, Simonetta. President of Novact (Spain)
  • D’Afflitto, Isabella Cara. University Professor of Modern and Contem-porary Arabic Literature (Italy)
  • Gervasoni Vila, Luca. President of (Network of Catalan NGOs) (Spain)
  • Hildyard, Nick. Corner House (UK)
  • Kelly, Kathy. Voices for Creative Nonviolence (U.S.)
  • Lambert, Michel. Executive Director of ALTERNATIVES Canada (Canada)
  • Lapsley, Father Michael. Anti-apartheid activist and Director of the
  • Institute for Healing of Memories (South Africa)
  • Larsen, Oda Sofie Heien. Chairperson of the Norwegian Social Form (Norway)
  • Massiah, Gustave. French economist and urbanist (France)
  • Morgantini, Luisa. Former vice president of Europea Parlament (Italy)
  • Nagler, Michael. Founder, Metta Center for Nonviolence (U.S.)
  • Nicotra, Alfio. Co-President of Un Ponte Per (Italy)
  • Reuter, Conny. General Secretary, Solidar (Italy)
  • Sacco, Don Renato. Coordinator of Pax Christi (Italy)
  • Saleh, Mamon. Campaign Against Criminalising Communi-ties (CAMPACC) (UK)
  • Schmid, Estella. Peace in Kurdistan (UK)
  • Sgrena, Giuliana. Italian Journalist worked for a long time in Iraq
  • (Italy)
  • Sweeney, Steve. International Editor, Morning Star (UK)
  • Uda, Franco. Foreign Manager the Italian network ARCI (Italy)
  • Venturini, Federico. University professor , University of Udine (Italy)
  • Williams, Jody. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997), Chair, Nobel Women’s Initiative (U.S.)
  • Zahra, Yasemin. U.S. Labor Against the War (U.S.)