“The Corona crisis should unite us, not divide us” – Webinar on the impact of the crisis on Iraq

Since last year, people in Iraq have been taking to the streets again: they protest against corruption and sectarianism and demand political reforms. Now the corona virus threatens to further destabilize the country. In my webinar “#Iraqprotests: calling for reforms and accountability – in times of the corona virus” I spoke with three experts: Sam Dubberly from Amnesty International, Hanaa Edwar from the Iraqi al-Amal Association and the journalist Steven Nabil. The webinar focused, among other things, on the impact of the virus on Iraq, the role of women during the protests and whether those responsible for the deaths and injuries of many demonstrators will be held accountable in the future. We also discussed another important issue: the role of the EU and the international community.

"Protests started because people wanted jobs, a better health system, more opportunities in life. The corona crisis will worsen the situation - if more people don't get paid, which is very well probable, given the low oil price - this will fuel the protests."

"This time, thousands of women have joined the protests, and many women are even leading the demonstrations. This is a historic moment, with gender and social norms being broken down."

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"The corona crisis should unite and not divide us. My fear is that the EU will look inward and forget about human rights challenges abroad. But the crisis needs to be solved with a human rights based approach!"

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