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The overthrow of the regime or death .. What do Iraq's youth want from the world?
October 17, 2019
Political leaders fail to create a sense of hope and opportunity for Iraq's youth (Getty)
Ultra Iraq - Editorial Team
Australian newspaper The New Daily has published a report on youth demonstrations in Baghdad and the south of the country and their struggle for basic rights to face snipers and death squads, while they are desperate to continue protesting until their demands are met.
Young people say they have to protest to save their future and will continue until they die or change the regime
"Ultra Iraq" translated this [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] from the Australian newspaper we convey to you without action:
Nearly a quarter of Iraq's 40 million people have been living on less than $ 2.80 a day since 2014, the World Bank reported.
In a possible confrontation with snipers (death squads), Iraqi youths vow to continue demonstrating until the government improves living standards and prevents corruption. The death toll rises.
Journalists documenting the repression were beaten, closed and destroyed by a number of news stations.
The brothers Saif 20 and Ali 23 say they will continue to risk their lives and go out to the demonstrations so that citizens can finally enjoy all their rights to live in an oil-rich country.
Their elder brother Adam al-Thahabi lives in the United States and has had little contact with his brothers since the Internet was blocked across the country except the Kurdistan region.
"Saif and Ali have to protest to save their future and they will continue until they die or change the government," he told the New Daily newspaper. He is also trying to get a visa for his wife Hanin, who lives in Baghdad.
Government figures indicate that at least 110 people have been killed and more than 7,300 injured since protests broke out in the Iraqi capital in early October.
The war-torn country has what the International Monetary Fund considers the world's fourth largest oil reserves, but most citizens do not have access to clean water, energy, basic health care or education.
After six days of demonstrations, the Iraqi army admitted that unarmed demonstrators had been violently repressed. While authorities have taken responsibility for some of the violence, they have blamed unidentified snipers, according to Al Jazeera correspondents.
But human rights defenders say the authorities are responsible in both cases, either as security forces fired at the protester or failed to protect protesters from snipers.
Iraqi youth want the world to pay attention to these demonstrations. "The genocide is going on in Iraq, and the international community seems to be uninterested," said a 34-year-old resident of Baghdad.
Young people in Iraq want the world to pay attention to these demonstrations, but the international community seems uninterested in spite of the "genocide" they face.
“The demonstrators have been killed twice, once by the authorities and once by the silence of the world.
But in their struggle for jobs, to improve their lives, Iraqi youth are still not afraid of the risk of violence. The pressure on security forces to take responsibility for the killing of the mostly young protesters prompted Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi to issue an official inquiry into the killings.
"A committee will be set up to investigate the soldiers who unlawfully opened fire on the demonstrators," Abdul Mahdi said.
This comes after local media reported that police snipers stationed on rooftops and fired randomly at the demonstrators.
The young people interviewed by the paper said they were disappointed with the world's silence over the violence they suffered, adding that their suffering and demonstrations had received little global coverage despite the brutal scenes of violence.
"If people knew they had the support of the international community, they would have been more persistent in their demands, but now they feel they are alone," he said.
"I am pessimistic about other Iraqis," Rasoul continues. "The government promised some reforms but people are tired of empty words and promises."
Dr. Benjamin Iskhan, associate professor at Deakin University, who specializes in Middle East politics, said the anti-government demonstrations have become a prominent feature of Iraq's political landscape.
"It has been happening every week and every year since 2003," he said. "In 2010, for example, there was a heavy firing of protesters. Within ISIS personnel. "
Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, many political elites have lived outside the country and are seen as far from the Iraqi street.
"Over the past 15 years, political leaders have failed to create a sense of hope and opportunity for Iraq's youth, as protests tended to explode at the end of the country's long summer, and tensions have increased since the defeat of ISIS in Iraq in 2017," Iskhan said.
"The Iraqis, especially the Iraqi youth, have not seen the political elites leading them to a brighter future behind ISIS," he said. It did not turn into basic public services such as schools, hospitals and drinking water. Civilians were generally forced to believe that politicians were exploiting money from oil sales. "
When Abdul Mahdi was democratically elected in October 2018, he promised long-term economic and social reforms and improved living conditions for the poor, but this did not happen and the demonstrators wanted to dismiss him.
Young people did not see that political elites lead them to a brighter future after ISIS and protesters are frustrated by the multibillion-dollar corruption
According to Professor Amin Saikal, a Middle East specialist from the Australian National University, "civilians are dissatisfied with appointing people to important positions on the basis of ethnic, sectarian, factional and family relations rather than professionalism." He added that the security situation remained very fragile.
`` Protests were easily erupted because the police and security forces were ineffective, making it difficult to suppress them and once they were beaten, people let the demonstrations go and forget about it for a while, but I don't know if this will happen this time, it could take a whole new direction, '' Dr. Iskhan said.