Iraq: GCHR’s 27th 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 past five weeks, including mass protests and sit-ins against the new election law, and a number of gross human rights violations that occurred in the country.

Citizens demonstrate against the new election law 

On 27 February 2023, popular demonstrations took place in front of the Green Zone, in the centre of the capital, Baghdad, against the new election law, in which dozens of citizens participated.

The new draft law, in which the Iraqi parliament completed voting on seven out of 15 of its articles in a session that took place at dawn on 20 March 2023, goes back to an old law that was adopted since 2014. It differs from the other law that was used in the 2021 elections in that it makes each governorate a single constituency instead of multiple constituencies, and includes the application of the Sainte-Laguë system by 1.7 percent, which according to experts, means devoting the influence of the large parties currently in power, most of which have supported this legislation.

One of the most important gains achieved by the October 2019 Protest Movement was the overthrow of the Sainte-Laguë elections law, and the reinstatement of the law by the parties in power generated intense resentment among citizens and civil society organisations.

Amid mass sit-ins in front of the Green Zone gate and widespread popular discontent, the Iraqi Parliament failed several times to hold its session on 25 and 26 March 2023. After continuous attempts by the parties in power to hold a session and vote on the law that they put in place, they managed to have the required quorum on the evening of 26 March 2023, and succeeded in passing it. The deputies who objected to the law were subjected to arbitrary measures by the head of the Iraqi Parliament, Mohammed Al-Halbousi, and they were forcibly removed from the meeting hall by the security forces.

A number of objecting deputy MPs filed several appeals with the Federal Supreme Court against various articles of the new election law. 

Dr. Jassim Al-Asadi Released