Revolution in times of COVID -19 – testimonies from Iraq

Conceptualization: Mohamad Blakah/Miriam Younes - Interviewing: Mohamad Blakah - Editing and Subtitling: Mohamad Blakah

In March 2019, the Iraqi government had imposed a countrywide lockdown due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country. In April 2020, about 1500 cases suffering from COVID-19 were reported in the whole of Iraq. Due to limited testing the estimated number of unknown cases are probably much higher. Since the beginning of the pandemic the protesters in Tahrir Square took their own precautionary measures, as the manufacturing and wearing of facemasks, the disinfection of tents and the decision that only 20 % of the protesters are to remain in the square. Moreover, many political and social activists started initiatives to support people in need since the lockdown led to increasing unemployment, poverty and an economic recession due to dropping oil prices. Since the end of April, protesters launched the hashtag “we promise the revolution will return”, meaning that after the end of the lockdown protesters will return to the streets to demand their political, social and economic rights and the fall of the political system. We asked several political activists and protesters to describe to us diverse impacts of the corona-virus on the current situation in Iraq.