Rescue appeal from Iraqi protestors …IHCHR to Raseef 22: “Security used all forms of repression”

The protestors of the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar sent an “appeal” message to United Nations and the international community in six languages to intervene and end the deteriorating situation in the country, hours before the upcoming demonstrations calling for the selection of a new prime minister.

Shortly after midnight on January 31, protesters in al-Haboubi Square, the main sit-in center in Nasiriyah, raised a slogan in six languages (English, French, Chinese, German, Italian, and Russian), urging the United Nations to “immediately intervene to save Iraqi people and stop the violent security behavior against the protesters.

Security used the ugliest forms of repression, a member of High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq Ali al-Bayati said to Raseef 22, saying: “The security used all forms of repression against the demonstrators,” adding that “: about 520 have been killed since the start of the protest, 15 of them are security elements .” So far, there are thousands of wounded. What is the most horrific? ”He added:“ IHCHR has monitored numerous violations during the demonstrations, the most prominent of which are murder and various injuries, including lethal, assassination and assassination attempts, threats and kidnappings, attacks on the media, and restrictions on the work of journalists. Note that violations are numerous and widespread throughout Iraq and that the Commission has not been able to monitor all violations because it operates according to a general monitoring mechanism in 10 governorates where the protesters took to the streets.

As for targeting prominent activists and leaders of demonstrations, Al-Bayati explained that the commission has so far monitored 49 assassinations or assassination attempts of prominent activists or media personnel (22 resulted in the death of the target, 13 different injuries and 14 failed attempts). According to Al-Bayati, the number of kidnappings among activists and media workers, documented by the Commission, reached 72 persons, 22 of whom were released, and the fate of the rest was unknown.

Al-Bayati confirmed that the Commission did not document any case of clear Sexual harassment with female activists or paramedics in the framework of the demonstrations, pointing out that he does not rule out that, especially they are in the hands of some security personnels who deal with the protestors as if they were an “enemy”, as he described it. He added: “The main problem is that all the activists who were kidnapped and released later refused to talk to us. We tried a lot to communicate with them and their families, but the total refusal was the answer every time.” He pointed out that “torture” in Iraqi prisons “is a constant thing before the demonstrations in the absence of supervision,” noting that “most of the protestors’ detainees with whom we made contact, clarified that they were subjected to torture during their detention … it is possible too that they were subjected to torture even later but they scare to disclose it for fear of oppression. However, Iraqi prisons are overcrowded and there is no more place for the protestors to be held for a long time, and the people often gather in front of the police offices and we intervene too as a commission to accelerate the release of these people. ” Since the beginning of the protests, 2,714 protestors have been arrested , 328 of whom still in detention on charges of assaulting the security personnel or sabotaging public or private property. Member of the Commission for Human Rights in Iraq, Ali al-Bayati, to Raseef 22:

” Why does the repression continue?”

Al-Bayati believes that the continuous security crackdown despite widespread international condemnation is due to “is a political decision to stay and benefit from the enormous gains that are being achieved.” While it is believed that the continuing protests in light of this repression are caused by the demonstrators being part of the most toiling class who despaired from obtaining work, basic services or a better future. He continued: “The demonstrations started as a youth movement demanding no more than job opportunities. The youth were met with scorching water, rubber bullets and teargas used to disperse them , so their anger intensified, and as Iraqi society is a tribal in nature, so it is too hard for any hurts against them to be forgotten .”

He added: “There are factors that encouraged the continuation of the demonstrations, including the support of the Shiite authority ( Sistani) for the right to demonstrate and demand for reforms, support from United Nations, press and social media roles to disclose all violences immediately as well as human rights commission independent role.”

At January 31, large numbers of demonstrators moved to join the protesters in the main squares in “Tahrir and Al-Khilani in Baghdad, and the governorates of Basra, Maysan, Dhi Qar, Muthanna, Diwaniyah, Karbala, Najaf, Babel and Wasit,” according to local sources. They insist on reformist demands, the most important of which is the formation of a transitional government that will pave the way for early elections independently of any party interference.

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Al Bayati: Iraqi media commission can issue a decision to deal with the TV network, even to close it, but should not use a “repressive act”

The act is a violation of national and international principles of human rights, Ali Al Bayati, a member of Iraq’s Independent High Commission for Human Rights, commented on raiding Iraqi force of Al Dijla TV, for The National.

Mr Al Bayati said the media commission can issue a decision to deal with the TV network, even to close it, but should not use a “repressive act”.

“Unfortunately it is not the first time that some TV channels and media agents were exposed to such acts without accountability and freedom of media rights,” Mr Al Bayati said.

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“Member of IHCHR, Ali al-Bayati: Thief of people’s food just like a killer”

Member of the High Commission for Human Rights, Ali al-Bayati, commented today on the disclosure issued by supreme council for combating corruption regarding the value of the stolen money smuggled from Iraq , stressing that “the thief of the people’s food is just like a killer.”

Al-Bayati said in a tweet through his account on “Twitter“, that “Supreme Council for Combating Corruption says that the value of the funds stolen from Iraq is equivalent to the investment budgets approved since 2003.”

A member of the Commission added, “The thief of the people’s livelihood just like a killer, as he leads to a shortage of medicines, starvation of children, poor people and orphans, and the perversion of young people, so as a result even committing crimes, all of which will lead to killing and perishing.”

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“Human rights official: 121 Iraqi activists kidnapped, murdered since October 1”

Since the beginning of Iraq’s nationwide protests on October 1, at least 121 activists have been kidnapped or assassinated, Ali al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, said Wednesday.

Protesters and activists have previously described campaigns of surveillance, intimidation, and abduction by government forces and unidentified armed groups since the unrest began late last year. 

According to Al-Bayati, at least 49 activists have been assassinated or survived assassination attempts in that period, while at least 72 have been kidnapped.

In late December, IHCHR reports handed to Rudaw showed a total of 68 activists had been kidnapped. 

At that time, at least 56 activists were still missing.

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“Ali al-Bayati, member of IHCHR: The increasing death toll meant Iraq was at risk of “international intervention” if the government did nothing to stop it”

Ali al-Bayati, a member of the semi-governmental Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR), said in a statement on Tuesday that the increasing death toll meant Iraq was at risk of “international intervention” if the government did nothing to stop it.

“The international community is about to internationalise the crackdown on Iraqi protests…after the statement of the 16 countries, and the steps moving towards achieving this goal as an international action,” he said, referring to a letter signed by 16 countries on Monday condemning attacks on protesters.

“There is no real national accountability or practical steps to investigate the case of using excessive violence against the demonstrators, whether it is from the government (as was proven in the investigative committee formed after the demonstrations of early October last year) or from other parties.”

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“Ali Al-Bayati: crackdown of the protest in Iraq Is about to be internationalized“

A member of Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, Ali Al-Bayati, saw on Tuesday (January 28, 2020) that the excessive violence used to crack down the protest in Iraq Is about to be internationalized after the statement of the 16 countries issued yesterday.

Al-Bayati said, “The international community is about to internationalize the crack down of Iraqi protest a months-long started, after the statement of the 16 countries, and the steps is moving towards achieving this goal as an international action.”

He pointed out that “there is no real national accountability or practical steps to investigate the case of using excessive violence against the demonstrators, whether it is from the government (as was proven in the investigative committee formed after the demonstrations of early October last year) or from other parties.”

He added, “In front of the government’s silence and its inability to take any step to protect citizens, whether they are demonstrators or ordinary, it will open the way for international intervention in this file, and it can also be politicized.”

He pointed out that “the human rights is an international mechanism, and Iraq has pledges before the international community to preserve the rights and freedoms of the Iraqi citizen, in addition to the fact that these rights are guaranteed in the Iraqi constitution as well.”

An appeal to the international community

My appeal to the international community: open your eyes and listen carefully to what is going on in Iraq, it is the democratic system that you have established in Iraq, it is under the name and umbrella of this system, Iraqi people been killed daily.

Since first of October Iraqi people are being slaughtered for nothing except because they demands their rights about which were deceived in the constitution on which they have voted with joy about a new future, But here is he , today been killed with cold blood, and no one is listening to the cry of his mother, sister, or daughter, or his old father’s groaning, who spent his life defending this homeland in absurd wars.

“Ali Albayati: The ultimatum has been faced with excessive violence against the protestors”

Ali al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, lamented in a tweet that the authorities had continued to use excessive force against demonstrators.

“The ultimatum of the protestors has been faced by the government instead of achieving their demands, with the same policy of excessive violence against the protestors,” Bayati said.

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“Ali Al Bayati: Lack of press freedom in Iraq will result in a negative evaluation of democratic freedoms in the country”

Lack of press freedom in Iraq will result in a negative evaluation of democratic freedoms in the country, said Ali Al Bayati, a member of the Iraq’s Independent Commission for Human Rights.

“The government must protect and guarantee a safety net for their [media] work as part of its democratic landscape,” Mr Al Bayati told The National.

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“IHCHR Condemns Assassination of Journalists & Follows up Release of Detainees During Demonstrations in Basrah”

The IHCHR condemns all forms of violence, assassination and kidnapping that affect protesters, activists and journalists, the most recent of which was documented by IHCHR monitoring teams was the assassination of journalists , Ahmed A. Samad, Dijla Channel correspondent and the photographer, Safaa Al-Tamimi, after their covering the demonstrations took place in Basrah on 10/1/2020.

The IHCHR also documented the arrest of (Al-Ghadeer channel correspondent, Fouad Al-Halfi , Reuters photographer, Mohamed Al-Fartousi and Sharqia photographers , Ahmed Raed and Mamoun Muhammad) by the security forces in Basrah, and the escape of several press cadres who were present to cover the protests because of the threats.

IHCHR has documented the arrest of (15) demonstrators in Basrah and they were released after IHCHR followed up the case with the security forces command , the commission office in Basrah continuing the releasing of all those who were arrested during the demonstrations .

The Commission affirms that these actions are a flagrant violation of the right to life, security, safety, freedom of opinion and expression, calling on the government and security forces to pursue criminals and submite them to justice.

Mainwhile the IHCHR praises the peacefulness of demonstrations took place in Baghdad and a number of governorates, it stresses that the government should assume its responsibility and play a real role to protect the demonstrations, maintain its peacefulness and protect the lives of demonstrators, activists and journalists from any violation occurs from any party .

Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq

11 Jan. 2020