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Iraq Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns

Dissent continued to be severely repressed through excessive use of force against protesters, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and attacks on freedom of expression. Security forces killed at least 600 protesters by using live ammunition and other excessive force during demonstrations that started in October 2019. Unidentified gunmen believed to be militia members targeted tens of activists, and killed, abducted and subjected dozens to enforced disappearance – at least six remained disappeared. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) security forces violently dispersed protests and arrested scores of protesters.

Restrictions of movement and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 adversely impacted internally displaced people (IDPs). The authorities resumed the closure of camps, closing at least 10, subjecting thousands of people to secondary displacement and impeding their access to humanitarian aid. IDPs with perceived ties to the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) continued to be subjected to collective punishment and remained at risk of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance. Thousands of others remained missing after being subjected to enforced disappearance by Iraqi security forces – including the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – while fleeing IS-held territories.

Killings of women were reported in the media. Yezidi children and women who survived IS enslavement faced significant difficulties in accessing rights and reparations. IS resumed military operations against civilians and military targets, carrying out bomb attacks in cities and assassinating community leaders.

Iraq Newsroom



December 16, 2020 • Press Release

Governments and Police Must Stop Using COVID-19 Pandemic as Pretext for Abuse

Abusive policing and excessive reliance on law enforcement to implement COVID-19 response measures have violated human rights and in some instances made the health crisis worse, Amnesty International said today.

September 1, 2020 • Report

Detainees in Iran flogged, sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of shocking human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, …

August 5, 2020 • Press Release

Virus-hit prisons still full of human rights defenders, as attacks continue

Governments who were lauded for releasing prisoners in response to COVID-19 outbreaks have excluded human rights defenders from the measures and continue to make new arrests of activists, journalists and …

July 20, 2020 • Press Release

Two Kurds in Iran executed amid increasing use of death penalty as weapon of repression

There has been an alarming escalation in use of the death penalty against protesters, dissidents and members of minority groups in Iran, Amnesty International said today, following the executions on …

May 4, 2020 • Press Release

Amnesty International Calls for the Release of All Prisoners of Conscience Worldwide

Amnesty International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all the prisoners of conscience it is campaigning for worldwide, who are now at heightened risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 20, 2020 • Report

Death penalty 2019: Global executions fell by 5%, hitting a 10-year low

Saudi Arabia executed a record number of people in 2019, despite an overall decline in executions worldwide, Amnesty International said in its 2019 global review of the death penalty published …

April 9, 2020 • Press Release

Prisoners killed in Iran by Security Forces During COVID-19 Pandemic Protests

Around 36 prisoners in Iran are feared to have been killed by security forces after the use of lethal force to control protests over COVID-19 safety fears, Amnesty International has learned.

April 7, 2020 • Press Release

Workshop for media featuring Nazanin Boniadi and the Middle East Institute will examine COVID-19 impact on the Middle East and North Africa

As part of a series of workshops exploring human rights concerns related to the COVID-19 response, Amnesty International USA will be holding a workshop titled “The impact of COVID-19 on …

March 18, 2020 • Press Release

Prisoner pardons in Iran welcome, but hundreds more who should be free remain jailed

Responding to the announcement by the Iranian authorities that pardons will be granted to prisoners convicted of “security” offenses who have a five-year prison sentence or less, and that those …

March 3, 2020 • Press Release

New Evidence Shows At Least 23 Children Killed in Iran by Security Forces During November Protests

An investigation by Amnesty International has uncovered evidence that at least 23 children were killed by Iranian security forces in the nationwide protests in November last year.