Peaceful Assembly

The Iraqi Constitution safeguards the freedom of peaceful assembly and Provisional Order 19 of 2003 provides a framework regulation for demonstrations. Organisers of public gatherings are required to obtain prior approval from government authorities at least 24 hours before the event. Government authorities can also impose place and time restrictions, while justifications, such as national security issues and the need to protect people from terrorist attacks, have been continuously used to postpone, cancel, or ban demonstrations. In practice the right to peaceful assembly is regularly violated, with security forces using excessive force to disperse and prevent protests. In 2016, thousands peacefully protested about the lack of state services and corruption. During one demonstration, at least five people were killed by security forces using an unnecessary amount of force to disperse the protests.