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Iraq's Civil Society Under Siege

Increasing reports of hostility against Iraq’s burgeoning civil society organizations have shed light on the way politics motivates violence and divisions in the country today.
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Two years ago, famous Iraqi activist Hanaa Edwar stood up against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki while attending the National Conference on Human Rights in Iraq. She told him that he harbored hatred toward civil society organizations operating in Iraq, and that he was trying to destabilize them by fabricating accusations of terrorism and collaboration against them, instead of arresting the real criminals.

Edwar’s action came after several attempts on the government's part to crack down on civilian activists — many were arrested and  others assassinated. It should be noted that until now there has been no serious investigation in this regard. The relationship between the government and civil society has worsened. Today, the civil movement in Iraq is facing great hardships, as various parties have issued threats and accusations against it. Every now and then some governmental and militia parties express their dissenting voices against the civil movement, especially those activists in social society, media and journalism.

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