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Release All Kidnapped and Detained Peaceful Activists

(Beirut) – Eight organizations released the following statement today calling on the Iraqi government to investigate the detention of activists and others since the start of the 2019 protests and to free all those held arbitrarily for peaceful…
Protesters marching in Al-Tahrir Square Tunnel in Baghdad, Iraq.
News

Freedom of Assembly Suppressed

(Beirut) – Kurdistan Regional Government security forces detained participants in December 2017 protests around Sulaymaniyah and forced them to sign statements promising not to criticize the government. The detained protesters were held for up…
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) headquarters in Ranya showing considerable damage following demonstrations from December 19-23, 2017, on the streets of the town. © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Officials Cite Parent Organization’s Stances

(Beirut) – The closure of Al Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau by the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission is nothing but an effort to clamp down on freedom of expression. The commission should promptly reverse its decision and allow the bureau to operate…
The logo of Al Jazeera Media Network is seen at the International Television Programs Market event in Cannes on April 2, 2012.
News

Emergency Decree Also Puts Pressure on Critical Reporting

(Baghdad) – Iraq’s new media guidelines are so vague as to be wide open to abuse. The guidelines unjustifiably restrict freedom of the press, including by requiring pro-governmental coverage. The government-run Communications and Media Commission (CMC)…
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Security Forces Fail to Investigate, but Arrest Reporters for Defamation

(Baghdad) – Four journalists have been assassinated in Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Ninewa Province, since early October 2013. Iraqi security officials have said they were investigating the killings, the most recent on November 24, but have not arrested…
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Licenses Suspended Amid Rising Death Toll, Civil War Fears

(Baghdad) – Iraq’s media commission should immediately reverse the license suspensions for ten satellite television stations and allow them to continue broadcasting. A senior official has admitted the suspension was not according to any law, nor could the…
News

Government Critics, Journalists Arbitrarily Detained, Prosecuted for Criticizing Authorities

(Baghdad) – Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should stop arbitrarily detaining journalists, activists, and political opposition figures, and end its prosecution of journalists for insulting or defaming public figures. The Asayish…
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Articles Alleged Corruption in Security Agency

(Beirut) – The Erbil Appellate Court should immediately set aside the October 7, 2012, conviction of an independent journalist who reported on alleged corruption in the regional government’s security agency. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) authorities…
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Vague Provisions, Draconian Punishments Threaten Media, Activists

(Baghdad) – A new draft law on information technology crimes would restrict free speech in violation of international law and poses a severe threat to journalists, whistleblowers, and peaceful activists, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today…
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Beatings, Detentions in Kurdistan; Blocked Access in Baghdad

(Beirut) – Uniformed security forces clamped down on demonstrations marking February 2012 anniversaries of the start of weekly protests in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces blocked access to protest sites in Baghdad; beat and arrested…
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Killing Shows Dangers Faced by the Country’s Journalists

(Beirut) – Iraqi authorities should conduct an immediate, full, and transparent investigation into the September 8, 2011 killing of Hadi al-Mahdi, a popular radio journalist often critical of the government, at his home in Baghdad, and prosecute those…
News
(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government should conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into the attack on the prominent journalist Asos Hardi on August 29, 2011, and prosecute whoever is responsible, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Authorities Seek to Limit Rights in Name of ‘Public Morals’

(Baghdad) - Iraq should revise its draft law on freedom of expression and assembly to remove provisions that restrict those freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft law would allow authorities to curtail rights to protect the "public interest"…
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Journalists Beaten, Sued, Detained, Threatened With Death

(New York) - Kurdistan regional government officials and security forces are carrying out a growing assault on the freedom of journalists to work in Iraqi Kurdistan, Human Rights Watch said today. Regional officials should stop repressing journalists…
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Security Forces Watch Assault on Sulaimaniya Demonstrators

(Beirut) - Security forces under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stood by and watched as dozens of masked men attacked protesters in Sulaimaniya on March 6, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. Assailants were allowed to beat and…
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Equipment, Documents Seized in 2 a.m. Break-In

(New York) - Iraqi authorities should immediately investigate a raid by security forces on the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), a prominent Iraqi press freedom group, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch also called on the government…
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Women, Journalists, Detainees, Marginalized Groups Under Threat 8 Years After Invasion

(Beirut) - The rights of Iraq's most vulnerable citizens, especially women and detainees, are routinely violated with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch conducted research in seven cities across Iraq during…
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Ensure Open, Thorough Investigation Into Killing of Young Reporter

(New York) - Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan who criticize the regional government have faced substantial violence, threats, and lawsuits in recent months, and some have fled the country, Human Rights Watch reported today. Iraq's Kurdistan Regional…
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UAE, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq Violations Detailed

(Dubai) - Governments in the Middle East were responsible for serious human rights violations over the past year, including harassment and attacks against human rights defenders and organizations that document abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. At a…