Target: Governor Ali al-Tammi
Goal: Demand Governor Ali al-Tammi give his people freedom of assembly
Baghdad’s newest governor, Ali al-Tammi recently passed regulations that allow police to prevent peaceful protests. This amount of power given to the police has been severely abused, as demonstrators and camera men are beaten before they are arrested. Ali al-Tammi has been governor for only a month but he has already detained dozens of protesters. While Iraq’s constitution allows freedom of assembly, the governor of Baghdad went against these laws and implemented these restrictions.
Reports of soldier and police brutality are mounting as protesters try to demonstrate in Baghdad square. Soldiers have detained protesters over a period of 36 hours and police arrested citizens who were disobeying orders. To legally protest, citizens must obtain an official permit from the government, however this allows the governor and other influential party members to curb protests deemed controversial. With other major problems plaguing the country, activists are astounded at the Iraqi government’s effort to squash basic human rights. It is obvious that the governor of Baghdad does not care for his people and prefers to oppress them.
The police and military have become increasingly deceptive in arresting and detaining protesters. One group of 13 protesters -a family was included in this group – were detained for a full day but because their arrest came from federal soldiers and they were moved to a head quarters, the family immediately began asking powerful figures to aid them in their release. Another group of 10 demonstrators made their way to a square in the city when police claimed that “the army will arrest you and maybe hurt you.” The police also informed the demonstrators that they would not be admitted into the square unless they had an official permit. A federal general admitted that he would take the protesters to get a permit, but instead took them to a police station to be arrested. The demonstrators then stated that they were blinded by an Iraqi flag, and then beaten as soldiers demanded to know who was paying them to demonstrate.
The people of Iraq are given the right to freedom of assembly by their constitution and the Baghdad governor is spitting on their rights. He is allowing the military and police to abuse their citizens – citizens that they are forced to protect. The crimes committed are atrocious and need to stop. Continuing in this cruel manner will only lead to more violence. Sign this petition and urge Governor Ali al-Tammi to restore the people’s rights to assembly.
Dear Governor Ali al-Tammi,
I writing to demand you to restore your people’s rights to assembly. The restriction you imposed in the first month of your term as governor has given far too much power to the police, the military and other state branches. It is rife with corruption and is harming your people. In just the first month of your decree, dozens of your citizens have been arrested, detained and beaten by both the police and military units. To legally protest in the city, citizens must obtain permits. This system is flawed as it is allows you and other branches of government to deny gatherings and protests deemed controversial. Even if the citizens haven’t started protesting, the police and military are arresting and detaining them even though a crime wasn’t committed. Furthermore, there are reports of citizens obtaining these permits and denied the ability to protest. You are essentially lying to your people and breaking their trust.
The Iraqi constitution gives the people right to assembly. You as the governor of Baghdad should be honoring these laws, not rewriting them. You have no right to do this and your people are suffering because of your thoughtlessness. If you honestly care about your citizens you will revoke this policy and allow them to peacefully protest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tawfeeq via CNN.com