Iraq-Overview

Although the majority of civil society organisations in Iraq are in their early stages of development, some are active and efficient, especially those involved with election-monitoring. Despite these emerging pockets of civil activism, significant threats to civic space remain due to the ongoing armed conflict between government security forces and the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (or Daesh/ISIS), which resulted in the death of an estimated 6,520 civilians between January and October 2015. In particular, freedom of expression remains severely restricted as journalists face intimidation, violence and kidnapping by security forces and armed groups. Demonstrating in public also remains a precarious undertaking in Iraq, as demonstrated by the killing of anti-government protestors by security forces in Baghdad in 2016.