Protests in Iraq


National Public Radio

Isabella Harrop, Staff Writer

In July 2018 Iraqis started protesting because of economic deterioration and state corruption. Tens of thousands of Iraqis went to central Baghdad last Friday in the biggest mass anti-government demonstration since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Currently they have a lack of job opportunities and very high unemployment. They believe the government should deliver these basic services along with electricity, water and repairs to the damaged infrastructure.


At least 155 people were wounded on Thursday October 31st and Wednesday October 30th five people died. There have been over 250 deaths just in the last month and they blame the security forces for all of the violence. Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets, water cannons, and live ammunition on protesters. Protesters have shut down roads and schools in the city. Over the weekend protesters demanding remake of the Iraqis government blocked a highway that leads to a port in Basra.


Iraqi president Barham Salih has said that he will draft a new electoral law to take power away from political factions and when it is passed it will allow for new elections. Salih also said that once they find a new replacement, Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi will resign, but it is still unclear. Although if they do have him resign, it will help settle down the frustration a bit that has spilled up over these past few weeks, but that does not mean the protesting will stop anytime soon. Back in October the Prime Minister agreed that protesters had legitimate concerns but there isn’t a “magical formula” that can fix it, meaning there is a long road ahead with the issues being addressed.