Hundreds gathered in Tahrir Square (central Baghdad) and other Iraqi cities to commemorate the first anniversary of what became known as the “October Uprising,” the popular protests that erupted in the capital and the central and southern governorates in early October 2019, and continued for months to demand political and economic reform. Its victims were hundreds of dead and thousands of wounded.
On this occasion, Iraqi authorities and personalities praised the protests and their goals that they seek to achieve in the interest of Iraq, most notably Iraqi President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi.
Tinaqiyat said from Tahrir Square, where hundreds of demonstrators gathered today in the morning hours, that she will not deviate from her peace, nor will she give up her demands that she raised a year ago, calling for political and economic reform.
The Coordination Committee demanded – in a statement – that those who “killed, kidnapped, tortured and arrested activists” who participated in the demonstrations that took place during the last period in many cities of Iraq be brought to trial.
The coordination committee called on the parliament to approve the new parliamentary election law, especially the multi-district clause, and for the state to fulfill the demands of restricting weapons before the elections, and “criminalizing any armed party operating outside the scope of the governmental security establishment.”
The statement also called on the Iraqi authorities to adhere to the scheduled date of holding the elections, which is the sixth of next June, and to take place under the supervision of the United Nations.
In the statement, these coordinators warned “the political class against procrastinating these demands,” and said that they give the Iraqi parliament a deadline to achieve these demands, which ends on the 25th of this month.
Announcement of investigations
For his part, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights called on the Prime Minister to announce the results of the investigations into the file of the dead of the demonstrations that took place during the last period, which claimed hundreds of deaths and thousands of wounded.
The observatory said – in a statement – “A full year has passed since the start of the protests in Iraq, and the government of resigned Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi promised to hold the perpetrators accountable, but that did not happen.”
The statement accused the current government of following in the footsteps of the previous government, and it did not hold the killers accountable “despite its continuous promises to announce the results.”
The statement said, “The failure to announce the results and the failure to hold the killers accountable will constitute a great disappointment to the protesters in particular and to the Iraqis in general, and will make the killers persist in committing more crimes.”
A year has passed since the rising popular movement, a movement that reduces generations of suffering, stems from the desire to achieve the aspiration of citizens in a homeland, in a capable and sovereign state that guarantees their security and rights. Iraqi rights pic.twitter.com/hNzL6qGcBB
– Barham Salih (@BarhamSalih) October 1, 2020
The Three Presidents pay tribute
On the occasion of the first anniversary of the popular movement, Iraqi President Barham Salih tweeted, “A year has passed since the rising popular movement, a movement that reduces generations of suffering, stems from the desire to achieve the aspirations of citizens in a homeland, in a capable and sovereign state, a guarantor of their security and rights.”
And he considered in the tweet that “fair elections away from the power of weapons and fraud are a necessity to launch towards the desired reform in the system of government and meet the rights of Iraqis.”
On the first anniversary of the October national events … Prime Minister @MAKadhimi : This government came based on the road map imposed by the movement, grievances and aspirations of the Iraqi people, and we affirm our loyalty to our people and the road map imposed by the blood and sacrifices of their vanguard youth. pic.twitter.com/yB8LLbXDfa
Media Office of the Prime Minister (@IraqiPMO) October 1, 2020
For his part, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi expressed his support for the popular movement, and said in a tweet on Twitter, “This government came based on the road map imposed by the movement of the Iraqi people, their grievances and aspirations, and we affirm our loyalty to our people and to the road map imposed by the blood and sacrifices of their vanguard youth.”
– Mohammed al-Halbousi (@AlHaLboosii) September 30, 2020
The Iraqi Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi also expressed his support for the protests, and said in a tweet on Twitter, “On the first anniversary of the October youth demonstrations, we renew our full support and solidarity with its conscious constitutional demands, and we are working diligently with all the state and the people’s activities to achieve these demands.”