Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Activist Imprisoned Over Tweet Leads To Deadly Protests In Iraq  

(AFP)

On December 5 activist Haidar Hamid Fenian Fadhil
was given 3 years in prison for Tweeting about dead leader Abu Muhandis and the Hashd. The courts found him guilty under an old Saddam era law against defaming government officials. His sentence sparked a series of protests in Dhi Qar where he came from.

 

The demonstrations started on December 6 and became deadly the next day. That’s when police fired into the crowd and killed three. That only enraged the crowd who stormed the provincial council building on December 8.

 

After a brief show of solidarity in Baghdad with activists demanding Fadhil be freed public actions in Dhi Qar ended on December 9.

 

In typical fashion the Iraq Security Forces responded by not bringing the police responsible for the three deaths to justice but rather arrested a number of people including a few businessmen they accused of inciting the demonstrations. No one in Iraq believes that anything will happen to the guilty just like when government forces killed hundreds or protesters under Prime Ministers Abdul Mahdi and Kazemi. Lip service is only given to investigations while results are rarely announced and fewer brought to trial. There is no real rule of law in Iraq as the elite only care about maintaining their power as shown by their cynical use of laws from the Baath period which they condemn for its dictatorship but are fine for their own purposes.

 

SOURCES

 

Agence France Presse, “Two killed in Iraq clashes after activist given prison term,” 12/7/22

 

Arab News, “Iraqi security forces kill two protesters in the south,” 12/8/22

 

Bas News, “Iraqi PM Orders Investigation into Casualties in Dhi War Protest,” 12/8/22

 

Al Hurra, “Iraq .. A prison sentence for an activist who criticized the popular crowd,” 12/5/22

- “New demonstrations denouncing the verdict against an Iraqi activist,” 12/9/22

 

Al Masalah, “Security forces arrest businessmen on charges of inciting demonstrations in Nasiriya,” 12/9/22

 

Al Mirbad, “Renewed demonstrations demanding the disclosure of the killers of the demonstrators in Dhi

 

Al Nasiriiya, “Eyewitnesses: Protesters storm the outer courtyard of the Dhi Qar Governorate building,” 12/8/22

 

NINA, “Nasiriyah _The return of calm and normal movement in the city center after hours of protests,” 12/8/22

 

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