Articles for Iraq

On December 21, 2020, a coalition of ten organisations, including MENA Rights Group, sent a joint letter to members of the Iraqi Parliament, calling on them to withdraw or sufficientally amend the draft Law on Combating Cybercrime. The letter maintained that the new draft law places greater undue restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and does not help prevent cybercrime or ensure effective cybersecurity in Iraq.
In the context of the 2019-2020 Iraqi demonstrations, dozens of peaceful protesters have been forcibly disappeared. In a joint letter sent on December 10, 2020, MENA Rights Group and over 20 other Iraqi and international NGOs called on Iraq's president, Barham Salih, to ensure that those who are still missing be released immediately.
On December 10, 2020, a coalition of over 20 Iraqi and international NGOs called on the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al Kadhimi, to take all necessary measures to ensure that the peaceful protesters who disappeared in relation to the 2019-2020 Iraqi demonstrations be released immediately. The use of enforced disappearances to silence critical voices is well entrenched in Iraq's history - it is high time for the current administration to break away from these practices.

On November 25, 2020, the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) issued its Observations on the additional information submitted by Iraq under article 29 (4) of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances (ICPPED), ratified in 2010.

On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraqi protests, MENA Rights Group urges the authorities to clarify the fate and whereabouts of dozens of peaceful protesters who are still forcibly disappeared.

Following the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Iraq in November 2019, Iraq notified the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the recommendations it wishes to implement in the upcoming years. During the adoption of the UPR outcome, which took place on March 12, Iraq accepted most of the recommendations including on issues related to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. However, recommendations relating to the ratification of additional human rights treaties, discrimination against women, LGBT rights, and the application of the death penalty were merely noted.

Inadequate legislation pending before Iraq’s Council of Representatives

During its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on November 11, Iraq received nearly 300 recommendations from 111 states on issues including torture, enforced disappearances, and the application of the death penalty. States also used this opportunity to address the restrictions on freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly in view of the recent human rights violations that have been committed by security forces since the beginning of anti-government demonstrations on October 1.

Two draft laws currently pending before Iraq’s Council of Representatives risk further restricting fundamental freedoms in the country, MENA Rights Group says in appeal to UN Special Rapporteurs.