The American Human Council (AHRC-USA) adds its voice to the rest of the human rights community in America and abroad in calling for the full protection of Iraqi civilians who are peacefully protesting for better living conditions and an end to corruption and dysfunctional governance.

AHRC affirms that peaceful protest is a basic human right that must be fully respected and not met with force. The latest reports of live ammunition shootings and the high toll of deaths and injuries among the protesters is deeply troubling. AHRC condemns the use of excessive force against civilians

AHRC urges the Iraqi government to fully respect people’s rights of free expression and freedom of assembly. The people have the right to protest government policies and practices without being violently repressed.

AHRC calls upon all Iraqis, in government and outside government, to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve pressing issues and disagreements. Violent repression will not address the underlying problems that resulted in the protests. Killing and injuring protesters will only harden the protesters’ resolve, as we have seen in different cities in Iraq.

“The right to peacefully protest is protected under Iraqi law and is an Iraqi government obligation undertaken when it became a member of the UN, accepting the UN Charter,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “No one should be killed or injured for simply asking for the most elementary of human rights,” concluded Hamad.

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