Human Rights and Democracy Report

On 31 August a number of individuals protesting in Nasiriyah and Baghdad were assaulted and detained by police. This followed reports that several provinces had refused to issue permits allowing people to protest. On 2 August Iraqi Security Forces in Baghdad are reported to have detained 13 people to prevent them from protesting against corruption and the deteriorating security situation in the country. Some of those detained also claim they were assaulted by security forces. We share Human Rights Watch’s concerns about this incident, and the government of Iraq’s use of regulations which allow police to prevent peaceful protest. We are also concerned by reports that Iraqi Security Forces raided Baghdadiya TV station offices on 13 September.

Iraq’s ethnic and religious minority communities continued to be targeted by extremists during this period. On 12 July an explosion in a coffee shop in Kirkuk left 30 members of the Turkmen community dead. On 14 September at least 23 members of the Shabak community were killed following an attack on a funeral in the village of Arto Kharab near Mosul.

On 1 September an attack on the residents of Camp Ashraf left 52 people dead. The UK publicly condemned this attack, and we call on the Iraqi government to honour its subsequent commitment to conduct an open and transparent investigation. We welcome the transfer of the surviving residents to Camp Liberty and urge the government of Iraq to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of residents at Camp Liberty. We also note that UN monitors have reported human rights concerns inside the camp, including denial of medical care by the camp leadership, restrictions on movement, expression, contact with others and access to information.

(Source: UK FCO)

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