We call on those states responsible for the invasion and occupation of Iraq to terminate their illegal and immoral war, and express our solidarity with the Iraqi people in their struggle for peace, justice and self-determination.

In particular, we demand:

  1. An immediate end to the US and UK-led occupation of Iraq;
  2. Urgent action to fully address the current humanitarian crises facing Iraq’s people, including help for the more than three million refugees and displaced persons;
  3. An end to all foreign interference in Iraq's affairs, including its oil industry, so that Iraqis can exercise their right to self-determination;
  4. Compensation and reparations from those countries responsible for war and sanctions on Iraq;
  5. Prosecution of all those responsible for war crimes, human rights abuses, and the theft of Iraq's resources.

We demand justice for Iraq.

This statement was adopted by the Justice for Iraq conference in London on 19th July 2008. We plan to publish this more widely in future. If you would like to add your name to the list of supporters please contact us.

Sunday, 27 February 2011


ROUTE IRISH is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller that delivers a fresh insight into the moral and political corruption at play in Iraq. As well as exploring the actions of private security firms on the ground in Iraq, Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty (Looking for Eric, The Wind That Shakes the Barley) examine the effects of combat on security contractors – the new “soldiers” of modern warfare - who witness the horrors of combat and are subject to post-combat stress yet receive little support from the state upon return home.

Largely set and shot in Liverpool, Director of Photography Chris Menges (The Reader, The Killing Fields) expertly transports the stress and adrenaline of frontline combat to the film’s British locale through the use of frequent flashback sequences to the streets of Baghdad. Mark Womack, in his first film role following parts in high-profile TV dramas including Liverpool 1 and Sorted, leads the cast which includes renowned stand-up comedian John Bishop, Andrea Lowe (The Tudors) and Southern Kurdistan musician Talib Rasool. ROUTE IRISH is produced by Rebecca O’Brien with Executive Producers Pascal Caucheteux and Vincent Maraval.

ROUTE IRISH will be released in cinemas, on Sky Movies Box Office and via Curzon on Demand on 18 March

Running time: 109 minutes / Certificate: TBC / Images: www.image.net

For further information please contact:
Artificial Eye Publicity team:
Claire Gascoyne: Claire.gascoyne@artificial-eye.com / 020 7438 9508
Jake Garriock: Jake.garriock@artificial-eye.com / 020 7438 9528

Iraq's day of rage - and its aftermath

Thousands join 'Day of Rage'

The Guardian reports (February 25th): Anger over corruption and abysmal basic services erupted in a "Day of Rage", with the most serious clashes in Mosul and Hawija, in the north, and Basra in the south. At least six people were killed – three in Mosul and three in Hawija – and 75 injured in clashes with security services as protesters tried to attack government buildings.
Thousands of people made their way to the city's Tahrir Square, but soldiers had closed it off with razor wire, using percussion grenades and firing in the air in an attempt to disperse crowds.
In Basra, the city's governor, Shaltagh Abboud, said he would resign after 18 people were wounded in skirmishes between the 4,000 protesters and state security. There were also clashes in Falluja and Nassiriya.


Five killed as unrest erupts around Iraq

CNN adds (February 25th):  Demonstrators clashed with security forces around Iraq in confrontations that killed at least five people and wounded many others.
raqi security forces opened fire to disperse crowds after protesters tried to enter the provincial council building in Anbar province. Security forces also opened fire to disperse crowds in two small towns in Salaheddin province, wounding eight protesters, police said.

Demonstrations Turn Violent in Iraq

NY Times adds (February 25th):  Iraq’s “day of rage” on Friday ended with nearly 20 protesters killed in clashes with security forces. Dozens more were wounded, and several local government offices lay smoldering and ransacked.

Protesters across Iraq clash with security forces

LA Times adds (February 25th): As many as 5,000 people, mainly young men, had massed in Baghdad's Tahrir Square in the late morning. They tried to push past a barrier of blast walls over the Jumhuriya Bridge and into the heavily protected Green Zone, site of the parliament and politicians' homes. ¿¿¿

As the protesters toppled part of the barrier, hundreds of riot police officers marched over the bridge to block their path. The officers came under a hail of stones as angry demonstrators chanted that Prime Minister Nouri Maliki was a liar and that they would not leave.

"Most people want to get inside the Green Zone and ask Maliki where the country's money is," said Adel, 33, a taxi driver who did not want to give his last name.
4 Iraqis Killed; 189 Wounded
Antiwar.com adds(February 25th): At least 34 Iraqis were killed and 189 more were wounded in demonstrations and other violence. The figures are likely to be higher as some reports had propotionally low figures for civilian wounded. Also, members of Human Rights Watch reported seeing Baghdad police attack protestors earlier this week, while Reporters Without Borders condemned aban on live coverage of events from Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.

Iraq “day of rage” protests shake US occupation regime

WSWS reports (February 26th): Tens of thousands protested in cities throughout Iraq  against the economic oppression and corrupt officials imposed by the US occupation regime, as well as the US occupation itself.
Complaining of joblessness, worsening electricity outages, food shortages, and rising food prices, they denounced or demanded the resignation of several national and local officials. Even though Iraq has the world’s second-largest oil reserves, social conditions are atrocious. The official unemployment rate is over 15 percent (in reality much higher), large parts of Iraq have only a few hours of electricity a day, and the country is still occupied by 47,000 US troops—with Iraq’s oil fields now largely in the hands of Western energy firms.
Iraqi security forces fired on protestors in several of the at least 17 cities where protests took place. Fifteen demonstrators were confirmed killed and at least 130 were wounded.
Deadly protests rock Iraq
Al-Jazeera reports (February 26th): Al Jazeera has obtained pictures which appear to show police shooting at protesters in the Iraqi city of Falluja, during Friday's deadly nationwide "day of rage".

An unprecedented lockdown of Iraq's capital failed to deter thousands of Iraqis from protesting, serving notice that the anti-government rage sweeping the Middle East
 will not be easily extinguished in Baghdad.

The "day of rage" protests rocked other Iraqi cities as well, as demonstrators burned or tried to storm government buildings from the southern port of Basra to the northern cities of Mosul and Falluja, where at least 12 protesters were shot dead by security forces.

Iraq 'Day of Rage' protests followed by detentions, beatings

Washington Post reports (February  26th): Iraqi security forces detained hundreds of people, including prominent journalists, artists and intellectuals, witnesses said, a day afternationwide demonstrations brought tens of thousands of Iraqis into the streets and ended with soldiers shooting into crowds.
Four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.
 Bad Day for freedom of press and democracy in Iraq
Aswat al-Iraq reports (February 26th):  The Iraqi Society for the Defense of Press Freedoms have condemned the detention of journalists, who covered the  Baghdad demonstrations on Friday, considering the 25th of February as a “bad” day for the freedom of press and democracy in Iraq.

It said that “Al-Diyar TV Channel had been attacked by a military force, who detained 7 of its members and stopped its transmission, because it carried reports about the demonstrations in Baghdad’s al-Tahrir Square and some other provinces.

Iraq PM gives ministers 100 days to shape up

CNN reports (February 27th): Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gave government ministers 100 days to deliver results and eliminate corruption or be fired, the government announced after an emergency cabinet meeting.

On Saturday, protesters in Samarra defied curfew to attend the funerals of two people killed during protests there, chanting "God is great" and "Down with the government."
Security forces battled some of the protesters and later opened fire to disperse the crowd, wounding at least eight, police said.
Demonstrators attacked the city council building and set it on fire in Kubaisa, a small town in Anbar province west of Baghdad, police said.
Ali Ghaim al-Maliki, the head of Basra's security council, told reporters that at least 71 people were wounded in Friday's clashes -- including 51 security forces and 20 anti-government protesters.


International seminar on the situation of Iraqi Academics

For more information:

Sunday, 20 February 2011

More protests in Iraq

A selection of recent press stories on popular protest and the brutal response from the authorities:

Iraq man dies of self-immolation to protest rising unemployment

Haaretz reports (February 13th): n Iraqi man has died after setting himself ablaze in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to protest against unemployment, police sources said. The 31-year-old man set himself on fire when he could not find a job, the sources told the German Press Agency DPA. He was married and had four children.
Thousands of Iraqis have been protesting this month, demanding better living standards, improved services and less corruption.

Mass protests at government corruption

Morning Star reports (February 14th): Thousands of working people rallied in central Baghdad to protest against rampant government corruption and the shabby state of public services in their occupied country.
The protesters massed in the capital's al-Tahrir Square in Bab al-Sharji and chanted slogans demanding that the government take action to get people into work, raise wages and rein in soaring food prices.
Many raised banners bearing the image of a broken heart, a reference to Valentine's Day, while others held up placards demanding that corrupt officials be held to account.

Iraq protesters demand electricity, jobs
AFP reports (February 15th): Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Iraqi cities, inspired by popular protests around the Arab world, to demand job-creation programmes and better electricity supplies.
The biggest turnout was in Fallujah where about 800 protesters marched through the city of western Iraq that a bastion of the insurgency after the US-led invasion of 2003.
Groups of around 200 demonstrated in the ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq and the poor Shiite district of Sadr City in northeast Baghdad.

Three reported dead in Iraqi protests

LA Times reports (February 17th): Three people were reported killed and dozens wounded during a demonstration in the southeastern city of Kut after protesters set fire to several government buildings as the country was roiled by demonstrations for the second time in three days.
The protest in Kut, capital of Wasit province, was the latest demonstration in Iraq inspired by the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that ousted longtime Arab heads of state.

Fresh protests hit Iraqi cities
Al-Jazeera reports (February 18th): Violent protests have taken place at various locations in Iraq, with anti-government protesters rallying against corruption, poor basic services and high unemployment.
In Basra, the country's second largest city, about 1,000 people rallied, demanding better service delivery from the government, jobs and improved pensions.

Protests spread throughout Iraq


WSWS reports (February 18th): Protests spread to cities throughout Iraq, as demonstrators demanded jobs and social services and voiced their opposition to the various corrupt local authorities supported by the US-backed occupation regime. 

In Suleimaniyah, health officials stated that nine people were killed and over 47 injured when Kurdish peshmerga forces fired into a crowd of at least 3,000 people, protesting at the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani. Demonstrators were protesting KDP corruption, and the lack of jobs and basic services. They chanted “Government resign,” “Work for the unemployed” and “The corrupt must face justice.”

Hundreds protest in Basra

Emg.rs  reports (February 18th): Several hundred demonstrators gathered Thursday in Basra, south Iraq, demanding the local governor's ouster while protesters in Nasir stormed a local government building, which are the latest examples of the anger sweeping the country over poor government services and high unemployment. 

About 600 people massed in front of the Basra provincial headquarters, guarded by the police. With the exception of some pushing and shoving, witnesses said the protest was largely peaceful, the AP reported. 

Thousands protest in Iraq's Kurdish north over shooting; orphans, widows rally in Baghdad

CP reports (February 19th): Demonstrators thronged streets in northern Iraq to demand justice over a deadly shooting at a protest earlier this week. In Baghdad, hundreds of orphans and widows rallied to call on the government to take care of them.
The uprisings sweeping the Middle East have galvanized many in Iraq to demand better services from their leaders. The demonstrations in the capital and the northern city of Sulaimaniyah were peaceful, but five protesters were killed earlier this week.

5 Iraqis Killed, 18 Wounded

Anti-war.com reports (February 19th): At least five Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded in the latest violence, while one U.S. airman was killed in a non-combat incident. Demonstrations continue in Baghdad, Basra, and other locations, but today’s hotspot is again Suleimaniya.

Ten demonstrators suffered blunt-force injuries when about 1,000 people attempted to storm a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) office in Suleimaniya. Another protest drew about 2,000 students on the campus of Suleimaniya University. The protestors demanded the resignation of the head of that office and called on Massoud Barzani, a member of the KDP and president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, to apologize for a deadly attack on protestors two days ago at the same offices. At leastfour more people were reported wounded.

Iraqi Refugees in Syria Voice Support for Protests in Iraq
Xinhua reports (February 17th): Iraqi refugees in Syrian voiced support for recent protests in their home country.
"These protests express people's anger on the bad government's services," Walid al-Hasani, a 55-year-old Iraqi refugee living in Damascus, told Xinhua, referring to protests in Iraq against rampant corruption, lack of public services, unemployment and unfair apportionment.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Facebook-organised protests spread across Iraq

A selection of clippings about demonstrations in Iraq over the last few days:

Popular anger boils over in Iraq

WSWS report (February 12th): Protest over social conditions spread to Iraq this week, as demonstrations broke out in numerous cities. Protesters stormed government buildings and a police station in Hamza, an impoverished and heavily Shiite community in southern Iraq, to protest shortages of power, food and jobs, as well as political corruption. Security officials allegedly opened fire on the demonstrators, killing one and wounding four others.
The National, from the United Arab Emirates, cited the comment of Abu Ali, who reportedly helped organize the protest: “There will be a revolution of the hungry and the jobless in Iraq, just as there was in Egypt,” he said. “It was a march by the unemployed, by those who have lost hope and who see [Prime Minister] Nouri al Maliki and the new government becoming another dictatorship.”
On February 10, protests of varying sizes took place in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Karbala, Diwaniyah, Kut, Ramadi, Samawah and Amara. In Baghdad’s Sadr City, demonstrators took to the streets to protest the lack of public services, unemployment and government corruption. Public sector employees joined residents in the protest. A group of employees from the Ministry of Industry denounced the decision to cut their pay by 20 percent.

Mass demonstrations spread to Iraq

Niqash reports (February 11th): The last two weeks have seen several spontaneous demonstrations across the country, in the cities of Kut, Diwaniya and Basra, in the south, Anbar in the west, and the districts of al-Husseiniya and al-Kraiat, north of Baghdad. 

The protesters’ grievances have been many and varied: the quality and level of basic services, government restrictions on civil liberties and freedom of expression, violations against civil servants, and the rampant financial and administrative corruption within state institutions. 

In Basra, around one hundred protesters demanded the resignation of the governor and members of the local council, accusing them of corruption. They carried yellow cards, like those used by referees at football matches. 

In Baghdad, hundreds of people gathered in Bab al-Sham neighbourhood to demand better basic services and the resignation of local government officials. The protesters carried a coffin inscribed with the word "services". 

And in the city’s al-Mutanabi Street, famous for its bookshops, hundreds of intellectuals, writers, journalists, activists and young people described as the facebook generation took part in sit-ins, condemning the restrictions imposed on their freedom, such as the decision taken by Baghdad Provincial Council to close nightclubs and bars. 

Lawyers lead anti-government protests in several Iraq cities
AP reports (February 13th):  Iraqi lawyers called for the end of judicial corruption and prisoner abuse in a protest Thursday that was one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Iraq since the start of popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
Dressed in the black cloaks they wear in court, Iraqi attorneys led a peaceful crowd of about 3,000 through a Sunni Muslim neighbourhood in western Baghdad, where there is simmering resentment against the Shiite-led government.
Lawyers in the cities of Basra and Mosul also held similar but smaller demonstrations, demanding better jobs and electricity services in Iraqi homes.

Security forces prevent protestors from entering Green Zone
Aswat Al-Iraq reports (February 11th): Security forces prevented hundreds of protestors from entering the fortified Green Zone, a security source said.
“Security forces prevented scores of protestors from entering the Green Zone, while a number of lawmakers are preparing to go to the angry men to negotiate and listen to their demands,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
Iraqi bloggers use Facebook to call for demonstrations
Asharq Alawsat reports (February 11th): Comments posted by Iraqis, both inside and outside of the country, on the social networking website "Facebook" in favor and support of the young Egyptians protesting in Cairo's Tahrir Square have now transformed into a call for Iraqi citizens to conduct peaceful demonstrations calling for improved government services, more security, and improved political and economic conditions.

Iraq subsidises power after protests over services

Reuters report (February 12th):  Iraqis will receive their first 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity for free each month, the Ministry of Electricity said, following growing protests over poor electricity supply and basic services. In the most recent demonstration, hundreds of people gathered in Baghdad on Friday to protest shoddy services and sporadic power, as turmoil rocks other parts of the Arab world.

Last October, Iraqis began receiving electricity bills containing a 100 percent price increase following a government decision aimed at encouraging consumers to economise and to help tackle crippling power shortages.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Egyptian contagion spreads...

These extracts speak for themselves:

Clamor for change now reaches Iraq

LA Times reports (February 6th): Clamor for political change across the Arab world has reached Iraq, where protests against poor government services have broken out in the capital and other cities.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki vowed not to run for a third term, a day after he announced that he would cut his pay in half. Other officials agreed to decrease their salaries in a bid to stave off the kind of unrest erupting elsewhere in the region.

Protesters in Iraq decry lack of basic services, shortages


CNN reports (February 3rd): Hundreds of demonstrators were in the street in locales around Iraq, inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the region as they railed against the government's inability to provide basic services and complained of food, water and power shortages, officials said.

The biggest demonstration took place in al Hamza, a relatively poor town in a heavily Shiite region about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Baghdad. Two Iraqi interior ministry officials -- who, per policy, did not speak by name due to security concerns -- estimated that that nearly 1,000 people participated.

The protesters walked toward a local council building, trying to force their way in as they hurled rocks inside the compound and at police outside, the Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said. Some were heard shouting, "We've had enough" and "Where are your promises."

One killed, four injured in Iraq protest

Al-Arabiya reports (February 4th): Police shot randomly at hundreds of protesters in al-Hamza district in Iraq’s southern province of al-Diwaniya, killing one person and injuring four. 

The incident came after a statement released by the Iraqi parliament condemning the use of violence against demonstrators in Egypt and urged for the respect of human rights.

The protesters who followed up with their demands from a previous demonstration called for the removal of al-Hamza head official and for the Iraqi government to provide basic services.