UNAMI Proposes "Next Step" for Ending On-going Protests in Iraq
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UNAMI Proposes "Next Step" for Ending On-going Protests in Iraq

On November 10, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) proposed a set of principles and measures for countering ongoing Iraqi protests. And, urged the country’s politicians to chart a way forward for establishing peace across the country. 

According to the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, at least 319 protesters have been killed and thousands injured in anti-government demonstrations throughout Iraq since October 1. The commission also said 15,000 people were wounded during the demonstrations in the country.

The set of principles and measures are as follows:


The following principles apply to all parties at all times:

1. Protect the right to life above all.

2. Guarantee the right to peaceful assembly, demonstration, and freedom of expression,
as granted in the constitution.

3. Practice maximum restraint in the handling of the protests, including no use of live ammunition, ban the improper use of non-lethal devices (such as tear gas canisters).

4. Deliver full accountability for perpetrators and redress for victims.

5. Act in keeping with the law, including in regard to public and private properties.


Immediate measures (less than a week) include:

1. Release all peaceful demonstrators detained since 1 October, in accordance with the law.

2. No peaceful demonstrators shall be targeted.

3. Initiate a full investigation of cases of abduction (including by making available CCTV footage), and reveal the identity of those responsible.

4. Accelerate the identification and prosecution of those responsible for targeting demonstrators.

5. Prosecute and punish those responsible for the excessive use of force and/or other violent acts, in accordance with the law.

6. Publicly call on all regional and international parties not to interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs, respecting its sovereignty.

Short term measures (within one week to two weeks) include:

1. Electoral reform: With the technical support of the UN, a single legal framework shall be finalized. Soon after, the framework shall be submitted to the Council of Representatives (CoR). The parliamentary procedure shall be completed as soon as possible.

2. Security Sector Reform: Executive Order 237 shall be fully implemented without delay. Any weapons outside state control shall be prohibited. Any outlaw armed entity or rogue element shall be considered illegal and it is the state’s responsibility to take them on.

3. Corruption: The political elite shall lead by example, for instance by publicly declaring their assets – at home and abroad, held under their own name or another. Additionally, political parties/blocs and movements shall abolish their economic committees.

Medium-term measures (within one to three months) include:

1. Constitution: With the technical support of the UN, the Constitutional Review Committee shall continue its work. Any amendment to the constitution shall be put to a referendum by the people of Iraq.

2. Corruption: The Commission of Integrity shall submit corruption cases to the High Judicial Council or the Central Anti-Corruption Court. The Central Anti-Corruption Court shall handle corruption cases at all levels of the state. All corrupt officials will be held accountable and prosecuted.

3. Enactment of laws: The Government shall send the following draft laws to the CoR, and the CoR shall complete its due process as soon as possible:

  • A law addressing the principle: ‘Where did you get this from?’
  • The Federal Court Law
  • The Social Security Law
  • Law on resolving the Housing Crisis
  • The Oil and Gas (Hydrocarbon) Law
  • Amending the Law on Encouraging Investments and Public-Private Sector Partnership
  • The Council of Ministers and Ministries Law
  • The Reconstruction Council Law