UN calls rights situation in Iraq ‘fragile’

Aug 8, 2011 | Sapa-AFP

A UN report released on Monday said the human rights situation in Iraq is still “fragile,” citing issues including economic and political stagnation, continued violence and attacks on minorities.

   “The human rights situation throughout Iraq remains fragile as the country slowly transitions from a conflict to post-conflict country that faces enormous development challenges,” the 2010 Report on Human Rights in Iraq said.
   “Widespread poverty, economic stagnation, lack of opportunities,  environmental degradation and an absence of basic services constitute ’silent’ human rights violations that affect large sectors of the population,” it said.
   The report, from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq’s  human rights office and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, also cited inconclusive March 2010 parliamentary elections and the ensuing nine-plus months of deadlock as a source of rights problems.
   “It is believed that this fuelled instability, but it also contributed to a degree of inactivity in relation to implementing reforms and other measures aimed at ensuring the protection and provision of human rights to the Iraqi population,” it said.
   “Also affecting security was the withdrawal of all (US) combat troops during the year that was completed in August 2010.”    Deadly violence remains a significant issue: “Civilians were subjected to arbitrary loss of life and injury, but also limiting access to, and enjoyment of, other basic rights,” the report said.
   Attacks are still carried out almost daily in Iraq, more than eight years after the 2003 US-led invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein. Violence has, however, fallen from its peak in 2006-2007.
   “Minorities suffered from various attacks throughout Iraq during  2010,” the report said, citing an October 31 assault on a Baghdad church that killed 44 worshippers and two priests as the worst single attack.
   It also criticised the fact that only one woman was appointed to  the Iraqi cabinet, and said that serious problems remain in terms of “honour crimes” against women, as well as female genital mutilation.
   The report noted that ending criminal impunity was a “serious challenge” and that freedom of the press “remains under threat.”


Photos of Today’s Tahrir Square Protest

 

Hundreds of ordinary Iraqis-men and women and children protested today in central Baghdad, Tahrir Square Friday 8 July calling on the Iraqi authorities to provide jobs and basic services including clean water and electricity. Protestors carried handmade posters calling for an end to corruption and demanding an immediate political reform.

Protesters, today, sent a clear message to the Iraqi authorities telling them to stop the current political stalemate, which led to worsening of security situation, and to agree on a genuine national reconciliation plan. Alternatively protested called for an early national general election to allow the people to decide themselves.

IRAQ: Essential trade union rights and freedoms are at risk

Extremist elements in Iraq’s new government have the country’s union movement in their sights

by Mark Metcalf
Friday, July 1st, 2011

Iraq’s newly-formed government is under pressure to reverse its decision to derecognise the country’s major trade union federation. The General Federation of Iraqi Workers, created in 2005, is made up of 12 national unions. These emerged from decades of clandestine activity after United States-led coalition forces brought Saddam Hussein’s barbarous rule to an end in 2003. In a country where the average wage is under £200 a month, the unions have sought to push up wage levels while, at the same time, campaigning for a more democratic Iraq. For more information please click here: http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2011/07/essential-trade-union-rights-and-freedoms-are-at-risk/

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Iraqi leaders reverse support for unionists

Iraq’s newly formed government is under pressure to reverse its decision to derecognise the country’s major trade union federation.Created in 2005, the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) is made up of 12 national unions. These emerged from decades of clandestine activity after US-led forces brought Saddam Hussein’s barbarous rule to an end in 2003. In a country where the average wage is under £200 a month, the unions have sought to push up pay levels as well as campaigning for a more democratic Iraq. For more, please click here: download

An Update on Today’s demo in Tahrir Square

Release young people, defend human rights
 

Tahrir Square saw a massive and solid demonstration today Friday 3 June. Civil society, artists and academic and trade union leaders joined the massive demo today. The protestors carried posters of the 4 young detainees, calling for their immediate release. The security forces have occupied,  Tahrir Square monument. The security force parked more than 6 Military vehicles under the monument and cordoned off the place with tape warning people not to approach or come close to the place.

The protestors insisted that heavy military presences must be moved and people must be allowed to join the peaceful protests in defence of human rights, democracy and jobs and labour rights and political reforms and end to corruptions.

The Police and military withdrew after two hours but attacked some journalists and protestors and confiscated a loudspeaker that was used by activist.  

Protestors have chanted the following slogans:

The immediate release of four 

Listen to People’s call

Release young people defend human rights.

 GFIW Abroad

Oil workers face retribution

By Kamaran al-Najar of Iraq Oil Report
Published June 1, 2011

KIRKUK – Unionists in Iraq’s oil sector have been fined and days ago were relocated to remote locations as part of a campaign of seeming retaliation against their role in organizing workers.

Jamal Abdul-Jabbar Akram, president of the Oil and Gas Workers’ Union of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), said he has been transferred after his organization staged a February rally outside the headquarters of the state-owned North Oil Company (NOC). For more information please click here http://www.iraqoilreport.com/politics/oil-policy/oil-workers-face-retribution-5785/