Local EU statement on the Situation in Iraq
Baghdad, Iraq , 28 October 2019
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Iraq
(1) The violence used during the latest wave of protests in Iraq is a source of deep concern for the European Union. Despite the many calls for restraint, the last days have seen further deplorable loss of many lives and a great number of injured protestors, as well as the destruction of public and private property.
(2) The EU acknowledges the efforts made by the Government of Iraq to heed its commitment to deal with protests in a peaceful way, while noting that yet again, instances of excessive use of violence have occurred.
The unacceptable involvement of armed entities in the events undermines the right to peaceful assembly and the expression of legitimate demands, and weakens the efforts of the security forces to keep protests safe.
(3) The EU calls on all political actors and all parties to act responsibly and within their respective roles, and to start a constructive dialogue on the way forward in the interest of all Iraqi citizens. As elected representatives of the Iraqi people, Members of Parliament should take responsibility in this regard.
(4) While the report of the Investigative Committee on the protests of early October is a step towards transparency and accountability, the dissatisfaction with some of the content and findings of the report needs to be addressed. The EU expects the perpetrators of all violations to be held accountable.
(5) The EU is ready to continue to support Iraq in its work to address citizens’ legitimate demands for change: accountability and transparency, an end to corruption, improved public services, strengthened governance, and an environment that is conducive to growth and employment, while underlining that such reforms need consistent and long-term efforts and cannot be done through quick solutions.