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Conflict in Iraq: protecting activists!

Earlier this month, over 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 injured in Iraq. They took to the streets against corruption and were fired upon by state security forces. These security forces are being advised by an EU mission! The mission has been on the ground for two years and is supposed to help reform the Iraqi security sector. How could this disaster occur despite this and how do we as the EU react to it? I asked this last week in Parliament:

Aktivist*innen im Irak schützen!

This month, more than 100 Iraqis have been shot to death, over 4000 got hurt. They were protesting against corruption when security forces fired. Those security forces have been advised by an EU mission! For two years, this mission is on site to help reforming the Iraqi security sector. How could the latest disaster happen on our watch? And how are we going to react? I wouldn’t get a response when I was asking in Parliament, last week. Today, I will travel to Iraq hoping to find out more there. Anfang des Monats sind im Irak über 100 Menschen getötet und mehr als 4000 Menschen verletzt worden. Sie gingen gegen Korruption auf die Straße und wurden von staatlichen Sicherheitskräften beschossen. Diese Sicherheitskräfte werden von einer EU-Mission beraten! Seit zwei Jahren ist die Mission vor Ort und soll helfen, den irakischen Sicherheitssektor zu reformieren. Wie konnte es trotzdem zu diesem Desaster kommen und wie reagieren wir als EU darauf? Das fragte ich vergangene Woche im Parlament. Leider bekam ich keine Antwort. Heute aber geht’s für mich in den Irak. Vor Ort finde ich hoffentlich mehr raus!#savetheiraqipeople

Gepostet von Hannah Neumann am Mittwoch, 30. Oktober 2019

The reports of human rights organisations are clear: Iraqi security forces have also fired on unarmed demonstrators. The Iraqi government has announced investigations into the incidents, but has not yet provided satisfactory answers. Instead, activists continue to be threatened or disappear into custody. Journalists have been prevented from filming and social networks have been crippled.

For two years now, the EU advisory mission to support security sector reform has been working in Iraq's Ministry of Interior. Last year it was increased from 50 to 95 persons. And it advises precisely those who are largely responsible for the excessive and deadly violence of recent weeks.

When I asked what conclusions the EU is now drawing from the disaster in Iraq, I received no answer. An impartial investigation is the least that must now happen. For the time being, however, I shall see for myself what the situation is like and talk to the parties to the conflict in Iraq.

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