News Release

Iraq Protests Escalating Against Foreign Interference and Sectarianism

RAED JARRAR, jarrar.raed at gmail.com, @raedjarrar

Jarrar is an Iraqi-born human rights activist and writer based in Washington, D.C. He recently wrote the piece “What Do Iraqi Protesters Want?” and was just interviewed on the Intercepted podcast with Jeremy Scahill.

Jarrar said today: “On December 10th, to mark International Human Rights Day, massive protests are planned in Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are traveling from all over the country, and they’re all heading to Tahrir Square. There is talk on Iraqi social media channels about the protest turning into a march that would attempt to enter the Green Zone, which is just across the bridge from Tahrir Square.

“A massacre took place last weekend when sectarian militias opened fire and killed and injured dozens of unarmed protesters in and around Tahrir Square. One of the leaders of these militias, Qais Al-Khazali of Asaeb Ahl Al-Haq, issued a warning to protesters today, threatening ‘the highest number of casualties to fall’ on December 10th. This is an ominous threat that should not be taken lightly, given the number of Iraqi lives lost since October.

“What we’re witnessing tomorrow is another legacy of the 2003 U.S. military invasion. Iraqi protesters are revolting against a corrupt, sectarian regime backed by foreign powers, and the anticipated violent response to their unarmed protest is yet another legacy of a regime that was installed by the U.S., and blessed by Iran, in 2003.”