The Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in Iraq
26-02-2024, 21:38


The Iraqi Capital, Baghdad, witnessed the announcement of forming the Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression on February 12th, 2024, which includes Non-Governmental Organizations, Parliament members, civil society activists and legal experts.


Sponsored by the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights and managed by partner organizations; the Coalition aims at protecting human rights, while creating remarkable space for holding discussions with the state bodies in order to fill the gap that was deepened all along the last two decades, while moving from acts of banishment and antagonism into mechanisms of discussion and finding commons.


With the announcement of forming Coalition; we emphasize our rejection of the attempts of restricting the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution of Iraq pursuant to Article 38 thereof along with the international covenant committed by Iraq. We are facing political and armed forces that is seeking to impose particular laws to bring us back to the military dictatorial era, especially with regards to the Draft Law for the Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly.


Such draft was amended and discussed several times away from the civil society observations and was phrased by military dictatorial mindsets that wishes to take us back to the time before 2003. Accordingly, we accentuate rejecting any attempts to legislate the draft law in such phrasing that is contrary to what is guaranteed by the Iraqi law and international covenants.


We claim the political power along with the Council of Representatives in Iraq to respect the civil society stakeholders and pave the way for holding discussions with them while considering their opinions and attitudes that are consistent with the Iraqi constitution and all international covenants, and stopping the process of negligence; considering that the oppression of the freedom of expression is contrary to the country’s interest, whereas no democratic regimen may exist without the freedom of expression. 


Hence, we claim to stop voting for such draft law and prevent its legislation in one way or another.



The Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in Iraq

February 12th, 2024 

Iraq – Baghdad