Dissent continued to be severely repressed through excessive use of force against protesters, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and attacks on freedom of expression. Security forces killed at least 600 protesters by using live ammunition and other excessive force during demonstrations that started in October 2019. Unidentified gunmen believed to be militia members targeted tens of activists, and killed, abducted and subjected dozens to enforced disappearance – at least six remained disappeared. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) security forces violently dispersed protests and arrested scores of protesters. Restrictions of movement and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 adversely impacted internally displaced people (IDPs). The authorities resumed the closure of camps, closing at least 10, subjecting thousands of people to secondary displacement and impeding their access to humanitarian aid. IDPs with perceived ties to the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) continued to be subjected to collective punishment and remained at risk of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance. Thousands of others remained missing after being subjected to enforced disappearance by Iraqi security forces – including the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – while fleeing IS-held territories. Killings of women were reported in the media. Yezidi children and women who survived IS enslavement faced significant difficulties in accessing rights and reparations. IS resumed military operations against civilians and military targets, carrying out bomb attacks in cities and assassinating community leaders.
Death penalty status
Retains the death penalty in law
Analysis, opinion, personal stories and more.
Reports, briefings, urgent actions and UN submissions