Advocacy / Iraq

Four years on, peaceful Iraqi protesters remain missing

October 02, 2023

Led by MENA Rights Group, 14 civil society organisations mark the four-year anniversary of the "Tishreen Movement" by calling on Iraqi authorities to address the widespread practice of enforced disappearance and to clarify the fate of disappeared protesters.

Civil society urges Iraq to step up action to combat enforced disappearances

April 06, 2023

MENA Rights Group joins 70+ organisations in urging the Iraqi government to tackle the issue of enforced disappearance. We co-organised an event at the UN in Geneva, which brought grassroots Iraqi voices to react to the report issued by the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and present their ideas to tackle the crisis of enforced disappearance in Iraq.*

Open letter to the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission: Drop the draft regulation of digital content and protect freedom of expression online

March 15, 2023

MENA Rights Group joins 8 organisations in urging the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission to withdraw a leaked draft Regulation that threatens digital freedom of expression in Iraq.

Joint Statement: President Biden's visit has a negative impact on human rights movement in the MENA region

September 01, 2022

The human rights movement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has paid a heavy price for the unlimited and unconditional support provided by the United Kingdom and United States to repressive governments across the region. The recent visit of US President Joe Biden has reinforced the practice of international relations that prioritises political and economic interests when dealing with repressive governments while turning a blind eye to human rights abuses at the expense of human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience.

Torture in Iraq, isolated cases or systemic problem?

May 26, 2022

On April 26-27, 2022, the UN Committee against Torture examined Iraq’s second periodic report, in which State authorities explain the steps taken to implement the UN Convention against Torture. Following an interactive dialogue with country representatives, the Committee adopted Concluding Observations, in which the Committee deplores the lack of progress made since the country was last reviewed in 2015. In a joint letter, we and five other human rights NGOs call on the Iraqi authorities to quickly develop and implement a national plan to combat torture in light of the recommendations contained in the Committee's latest Concluding Observations.

Joint letter to the President of Iraq regarding the ongoing enforced disappearance of Abdel-Messih Sarkis

March 01, 2022

Two years after the abduction of Abdel-Messih Sarkis, MENA Rights Group and End Impunity in Iraq call on Iraqi President Barham Salih to take action to secure his release.

Increasing repression against activists, journalists and other critics in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region

July 09, 2021

While the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has long enjoyed the reputation of a place of tolerance and respect for free expression, over the course of 2020 and 2021, the Kurdish authorities have increasingly cracked down on demonstrators, activists, journalists and other critics. In February 2021, five journalist and activists who are known to be critical of the government were sentenced to six years’ in prison. Their sentence was recently upheld on appeal.

Joint Statement: Stop violations against journalists in the Kurdistan region of Iraq

May 03, 2021

On the International Day for Freedom of the Press on May 3, the undersigned organizations call on the authorities of the Kurdistan region of Iraq to stop their continuous violations of the freedom of the press, lift restrictions imposed on journalistic work; to end their campaigns on the prosecution and detention of journalists for their legitimate work, open a serious investigation into the death of a journalist who was covering the popular demonstrations in August 2020, and bring all those responsible to justice.

A coalition of ten NGOs calls on the Iraqi parliament to amend Iraq's Draft Law on Freedom of Assembly and Peaceful Demonstrations

March 16, 2021

On Tuesday 16 March 2021, a coalition of ten NGO's appealed, through a joint letter, to the Iraqi Council of representatives, asking them to amend the proposed Draft Law on Freedom of Assembly and Peaceful Demonstrations in order to bring it in line with the Iraqi Constitution and international human rights laws.

Coalition of NGOs call on the Iraqi parliament to withdraw or sufficiently amend Iraq's Draft Law on Combating Cybercrime

December 17, 2020

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.