Iraq: GCHR’s 23rd Periodic Report on Human Rights Violations in Iraq


This report issued by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) documents the human rights situation in Iraq during the period from 12 May to 21 June 2022, and includes violations against citizens, including peaceful demonstrators, civil society activists, journalists and media professionals. The report also documents how the authorities dismissed a well-known journalist and presenter from his work because of a tweet.

Attacks by Security forces

Attacks on civil society activists and peaceful protesters are still continuing by the security authorities in Iraq, despite their repeated promises to provide protection for demonstrators.

On 31 May 2022, a police officer appeared in a video clip beating and verbally abusing a citizen whom he said was drunk, without having any right to attack and defame him. The clip spread widely on social media platforms, and human rights defenders denounced the illegal behaviour of the policeman.

On 18 May 2022, a group of lecturers, who are teachers without contracts providing services to the Iraqi government, demonstrated in Al-Muthanna Governorate to demand their rights to permanent government jobs. They were subjected to serious violations by the security forces, who severely beat them. Traces of torture can be seen on the bodies of some of them, as the main photo above shows.  

Civil society activists targetted

On 13 June 2022, citizen Rayan Salem, the father of a peaceful young protester named Raymon who was killed by the security forces, was arrested. The prevailing belief was that the reason for the arrest was the complaint that the family submitted to the French judiciary against former Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi in connection with the killing of their son. However, his wife appeared in a video posted on social media, in which she confirmed that his arrest was connected to an old lawsuit related only to his work and said that he will be released in the coming days. She thanked everyone who supported the family in their ordeal.

GCHR previously documented the killing of 15-year-old peaceful protester Raymon Rayan Salem on 25 February 2020, who was targeted by anti-riot forces with hunting rifles, who shot him in the head with iron pellets.