Iraq - Trade union member assassinated after a heavily repressed demonstration in Dhi Qar

On 14 February 2022, Muhammad Al-Saidi, a member of the General Federation of Trade Unions of Workers in Iraq and a member of the General Union of Workers in the Oil and Gas Sector, was severely beaten during a peaceful demonstration in Dhi Qar, and several workers were unlawfully detained. Following the demonstration, Ahmad Ali Al-Zaidi, a trade unionist and employee at an oil facility in Dhi Qar Governatorate, was assassinated in what appears to be a retaliation for his activism during the 14 February demonstrations. The attack and the assassination come in a context of continuous harassment against independent trade unions as the government of Iraq attempts to impose a trade union monopoly and interfere in the internal affairs of trade unions.
Over the past year, peaceful and legitimate trade union demonstrations in the oil and electricity sectors were systematically disrupted by security forces. Workers and trade union leaders have been repeatedly subjected to internal investigation procedures and disciplinary measures for their legitimate trade union activities. In some cases, they have been transferred to other companies or other positions and threatened with legal penalties.

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