Iraq has been facing protests since the beginning of October. The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) has announced that the number of people killed in the Iraq protests has reached 489.
On 28 December 2019, the IHCHR stated on its Facebook page that the number of kidnapped and disappeared individuals during the nationwide protests in Iraq has reached 68.
According the social media reports, activists in the anti-government protests and those who target the ruling political elites in their slogans are subjected to coordinated attacks such as assassinations, kidnappings and torture in secret locations since the protests began. These attacks have increased in recent weeks.
Iraq’s government has repeatedly pledged to prosecute those responsible for these operations, but so far there have been no results.
Activists accuse Iran-backed militias of being behind these killings.
According to social media reports, the factions and the groups affiliated to Iran such as the “Dawa”, “Tiar Al-Hekmat”, “Badr Organization” and “Asaib Ahl Al-Haq” are accused of being behind the assassinations and kidnappings in Iraq.
The Asaib Ahl Al-Haq militias are the main Iraqi paramilitary force affiliated to the Iranian government.
Al-Arabiya website reported on 25 December 2019 that the protesters torched the headquarters of some of organizations affiliated to Iran in the city of Diwaniyah, the capital of Qadisiya province, south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
While the Iraqi people rise for liberty, Iran tries to hold Iraq under its domination, analysts say.
Al-Arabiya website reported on December 16 that Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani traveled to Iraq to convince various political parties to select Mohammed Shia’ Sabbar al-Sudani?as the new candidate for the post of Prime Minister, but the protesters immediately refused to accept him.
Iraq today has turned into a battlefield between the Iraqi people and the Iranian leadership which tries to use Iraq to cover its own crisis such as the nationwide Iran protests.
The Iraqi protesters forced the government of Adel Abdul Mahdi, who is close to Iran, to resign in December. They insist on holding all political elites accused of corruption to account. This includes all the politicians who have governed Iraq since the downfall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The demonstrators are also calling for the selection of an honest, independent candidate who is without any link to a foreign country, especially Iran. This independent Prime Minister should rule the country for a transitional period before an early election, they demand.
October Protests Committee Rejects Iraqi PM Candidates and Calls for Parliament’s Dissolution
The Central Committee of the Iraqi October Protests renewed its rejection of any nomination for the post of Prime Minister by those who have participated in the political process after 2003 and insisted that Parliament be dissolved and early elections held.
In a statement issued on 28 December 2019, the committee said that “protesters reject certainly any candidate for the post of Prime Minister who participated in the political process after 2003.”
According to the Iraqi National Charter website, the Central Committee of the Iraqi October Protests confirmed that it would not present any candidate or plan before parliament was dissolved.
In its statement, the Committee pointed out that the protesters are not willing to provide any candidate or plan as a solution until the parliament which is dominated by Iran and formed by corrupt parties is dissolved.
“We call on political factions who claim to be on the side of the protesters to contribute to the acceleration of parliament’s dissolution,” the Committee statement added, while calling on Mohamed al-Halbousi, the Parliament Speaker, to resign immediately.