Worrying news from Iraq that four young leaders of the country’s recent waves of protests were arrested today and are being held in an undisclosed location. As students Ahmed Alaa al Baghdaddi, Moyaid Fasil al Taib and Ali Abdul-Khaliq, and worker activist Jihad Jalil – members of the 25 February protest movement – walked to join a peaceful mass protest in Tahrir Square in Baghdad this morning, plain clothes police in an ambulance seized them, beating them and threatening them with machine guns before taking them away. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’
With the world’s eyes on the problems facing an Arab Spring for Libya, Egypt, Syria and Bahrain, a fast moving crisis brewing in Iraq is in danger of slipping off the radar. As one of the region’s elected democracies, recent protests in Iraq have been about the pace of reform within the political system rather than a challenge to the legitimacy of the government, but with a recent dramatic crackdown on trade unions in the county, the country seems to be moving very much in the wrong direction.
The cabinet in Iraq is something of a carve up, with the governing coalition’s important minority faction the Sadrist party (the followers of the Islamist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr) holding sway over a number of departments, including the Ministry of Labour. It seems the Sadrists are keen to use their position to exert influence wherever possible, and to that end have staged something of a civil society coup by taking over the country’s independent labour movement.