We had expectations that UNAMI would play a critical role in holding the Iraqi government accountable to uphold the human rights of Iraqis, defending their protected right to demonstrate & demand reforms for their country. We are highly disappointed to see that the former defense minster and current UN envoy to Iraq has, at every turn, stood to the defense of the Iraqi government, making shocking statements that appeared to justify the violence the government is using against protesters by blaming them for “billions in losses”. A completely unsubstantiated claim!
Her continued statements equating citizens exercising their protected right to protest with the power, authority & monopoly on force that the Iraqi government holds are completely unacceptable.
The UN’s foundational 1954 charter is based on a fundamental commitment to human rights as intrinsic to its work for peace & development. Those charged in duty to UN offices are expected to work first and foremost on behalf of this principle without condition.
We therefore must demand the immediate discharge of Jeanine Hennis. We further ask you to assign a special mission to Iraq to attend to this urgent, fast-moving situation. In less than three days at least 23 Iraqis, peaceful protestors, have been killed and some 1,400 wounded, while more than 300 have been killed since October 1. These are crimes that must be prosecuted!
Iraqis have made their demands clear that they can no longer suffer under a goverment which has brought only division, destruction & death for 16 years. Unfortunately, UNAMI appears to have adapted its operations to this goverment without regard to the Iraqi people’s rightful demands. We therefore have no faith in UNAMI’s abilities to handle this situation with respect to the UN Charter.
Thank you for your attention.
Mosuli Historian and founder of Mosul Eye
November 8, 2019