High Risks & Dangers on Personal Security of Voters in the recent Iraqi elections in 2014

Elections Security reaches an! "oncerns #y Iraq Sur$eys ISS In recent elections hel! in Iraq an! in %u&erous "entres in 'ther countries ISS "oncentrate! on a fe( interesting )roce!ures that (ere taken in 2014 in co&)arison to the )re$ious elections in 2010* In this Short re)ort (e (ish to e+)ress our high concern for the )ri$acy an! )ersonal safety of citi,ens (ho chose to )artici)ate in these elections* The General Environment -he 2014 Elections co&es in a $ery critical ti&e in Iraq (here security is a &a.or challenge* / of Iraq0s 11 )ro$inces are outsi!e the control on %ouri 2l 3aliki an! attles are raging !aily #et(een -ri#es that re$olte! to !efen! their rights an! cities in retaliation to 3aliki0s 2ttack in 4anuary* -error 5rou)s also acti$e gi$ing %ouri the 3e!ia co$erage he nee!s to request ai! fro& international )o(ers in the na&e of 6ighting -error* Southern Pro$inces are furious on failures of the 3aliki 5o$ern&ent to !eli$er ser$ices* 7ur!ish Pro$inces in serious conflict (ith agh!a! go$ern&ent on financial & 'il e+)orting Issues* Election "entres ha$e #een attacke! or &ortare! in areas8 an! thousan!s of !is)lace! Iraqis fro& the fighting in 2n#ar (ere force! to $ote in )ro$inces other than theirs &ostly fro& Er#il* 9nlike 2010 In (hich elections (ere )re$iously hel! in a consi!era#ly safer en$iron&ent8 this 2014 elections (as carrie! out not only in an en$iron&ent that shoul! ha$e !ictate! Its )ost)one&ent in the interest of $oters safety an! electoral )rocess cre!i#ility #ut also se$eral ne( & interesting )roce!ures conclu!e that the )ersistence in )ursuing the elections in these gra$e circu&stances (ere the result of nu&erous )ressures fro& (ithin the installe! )olitical )recess an! fro& regional & international ones each for its o(n sets of reasons an! interests* The Voting Cards Early 3arch Iraq Sur$eys recei$e! an i&age of Voting car!s that (ere issue! to selecte! $oters one classifie! an! ci$ilian an! others 3ilitary* -he )ro#le& (as that car!s #elonge! to the sa&e )erson an! only the serial nu&#ers8 a!!resses & Electoral centre (ere change! on I!s in or!er for it to go un!etecte! #y the electoral !ata#ase search tool* -his allo(s the )erson to elect any s)ecifie! can!i!ate &ore than once !iscre!iting the hole i&)le&ente! )roce!ure altogether* %e$er:the:less8 the electoral co&&ission a$oi!s co&&enting as it ha! no logical e+)lanation to this issue leake! #y us to local an! international &e!ia at the ti&e*

Changing regulations during electoral process along with other breaches -he electoral )rocess outsi!e Iraq (as !ifferent fro& that hel! insi!e Iraq* In the 97 ; centres (here o)en accor!ing to the Iraqi E&#assy (e#site (here a $ery large concentration of Iraqi e+)ats actually li$e &ainly i&&igrants or refugees8 In Iran 11 electoral centres (ere o)en (here Iraqis are not kno(n to li$e in high concentrations* "entres outsi!e !i! not ha$e finger)rint an! ID car! &atching &achines use! insi!e Iraq an! ha! to rely on -(o I!s one &ain such as a Personal ID car! or Pass)ort along (ith a su))orting !ocu&ent issue! #y the country of resi!ence* So&e 3onitors of co&)eting )arties co&)laine! of or!ers co&ing to the centres o$er the )hone an! (ith no !ocu&ente! )roce!ures rules or regulations forcing hun!re!s of Iraqis to return (ithout casing their $otes8 after (hich regulations (oul! #e change! &i! !ay after $oters lea$e to acce)t their )re$iously refuse! 5 class )ass)orts for hours earlier that !ay* -his (as a !ocu&ente! case a&ong others #y &onitors*

Vi!eo 6ootage <ink htt)=>>(((*youtu#e*co&>(atch?$@DH9eRr6APq1 So&e fights & argu&ents also occurre! #y $oters an! corru)t Iraqi officials (ho fle! the country after scan!alous ne(s co$erage an! un!er the )rotection of 3aliki hi&self* -he 3etro)olitan Police ha! to inter$ene after an )re$ious official0s B6alah Su!aniC Son B3usaa#C hea! #ange! a $oter BHai!ar 2l 3iyahiC after a co&&ent (as &a!e asking the official0s son (here is Iraq0s stolen &oney* -he Police arreste! the Son after the attack*

3usaa# 6alah Su!ani 2rreste! Vi!eo 6ootage <ink

"orru)t 6alah Su!ani

Hai!r 2< 3iyahi

htt)=>>(((*youtu#e*co&>(atch?$@DAl.EAsDsqI

2nother 2rgu&ent ha))ene! in Dashington #et(een so&e 7ur!ish electorial officials an! 2ra# Voters (hen so&e trie! to ri) the Iraqi flag off fro& the Dall at the entrance of the $oting centre* -urne! out to #e a )ro$ocation on the )art of the organisers* Des)ite the co&&otion8 no fight actually #roke8 out the electoral official to the sur)rise of all !eci!es to call F11*

Vi!eo 6ootage <ink htt)s=>>(((*face#ook*co&>)hoto*)h)?$@2400/2E;21;1E/G&set@$#*1442F;4FF0F4G20&ty)e@E&theater -housan!s of $oters &ainly fro& the 2r&y tire! of failing co&#at &issions co&)laine! that their na&es (ere not e$en liste! as allo(e! to $ote in !esignate! centres8 no e+)lanation to this issue has #een release!*

"i$ilians in !is)lace! areas fro& the fighting (ere liste! to $ote along (ith the ar&y in the first t(o !ays to their sur)rise* (hen they turne! u) to $ote they (ere tol! they shoul! ha$e $ote! (ith the ar&y t(o !ays earlier* -heir $otes (ere not caste!* The Finger Print Readers Peo)le also co&)laine! that the finger)rint rea!er on the ID !ata#ase &atching units !i! not function8 the rea!er coul! not #e linke! to the ID after confir&ation fro& the Data#ase* 2 ne( )roce!ure (as set to ask $oters to sign &anually an! a!! their na&es an! )hone nu&#ers to a for&* -his linke! (ith another serious #reach coul! )ro$e !angerous to the )ersonal safety of Voters in gra$e ti&es in Iraq* Es)ecially if your infor&ation is share! (ith the greatly un)o)ular 3aliki Regi&e*

6urther -V co$erage on agh!a!ia -$ re$eal that the electoral co&&ission ha! teste! the equi)&ent )rior an! 1F )ercent of the unites !i! not function8 coinci!entally &ost of these &achines (ere assigne! to cities not falling un!er full control or influence of the 3aliki go$ern&ent* 2n! that the "o&&ission !irector & s)okes&an ha! signe! a !ocu&ent on the 1F th of 6e#ruary 2014 on this &atter &entioning a total of /18112 $otes not taken #y the syste& !uring testing*

<ink to footage htt)=>>(((*youtu#e*co&>(atch?$@$9<$+<HlS1c The Ominous Barcode %e( election for&s (ere use! in 20148 one of the &ost !angerous #reaches (as the a!!ition of a serial nu&#er an! a &atching 5S1 #arco!e on e$ery for& gi$ing it an i!entifying factor that can #e linke! i&&e!iately to the $oter0s ID gathering a treasure tro$e of infor&ation on the lenience of each in!i$i!ual $oter $ote:(ise* -his infor&ation is at the illegal !is)osal of the electoral co&&ission8 the ruling8 controlling or co&)eting )arties of the failing installe! )olitical )rocess on one en! or any intereste! )arty or e&#assy that &ay ha$e access to the infor&ation on the other en!* In a country (here assassinations8 killings an! force! &igration are )art of the !aily routine8 this infor&ation &ay )ro$e !ea!ly to anyone (ho0s $ote is not as (ante! #y (hoe$er is in$ol$e!*

-he "o&&ent #o+ on the #otto& of the $oting sheet clearly instructs the )erson in:charge to &ake sure that the #arco!e is scanne! (hile he checks -he electoral ID of the $oter on the sa&e !e$ice so you ha$e the ID8 6inger)rint an the Voting sheet all linke! together*

Form Booklets -he Voting for& #ooklets too ha! &atching serial nu&#er on the to)8 this (ay e$en (hen you tear out a $oting sheet the serial nu&#ers are on the to) e!ge of the re&aining e!ge* Dhen aske!8 an electoral official in <on!on centre sai! that each hour these #ooklets are rene(e!8 (hen aske! (hat if there are re&aining for&s in each #ooklet left at the en! of each hour8 !o you !estroy the re&aining for&s ? -he res)onse (as these re&aining e!ges an! any re&aining for&s are left together an! are )acke! & seale! nothing (as foun! fil&e! or )hotogra)he! to )ro$e this8 later in the !ay (e recei$e! an i&age fro& one of the &onitors (ith all the #o+e! seale! #ut one* 2ny re&aining for& not use! fro& the use! serial nu&#ere! #ooklets can easily #e a!!e! to any unseale! #o+es*

The !termath
2fter the elections en!e! all )arties #oaste! that they are the ulti&ate (inners )rior to the results #eing release!8 Initial results (ere )oste! an! each 3e!ia outlet fa$oure! the can!i!ate they )ro&ote8 then tensions increase! in certain areas in agh!a! #et(een 3aliki su))orters an! su))orters of the Sa!r an! also 2l Haki&8 Re)resentati$es fro& each )arty then (hen to e+)lain their o)inions to e&#assies an! international organisations like the 9%* y e$ening a SD2force (as sent y 3aliki to the highly )o)ulate! Sa!r "ity (here they entere! an electoral centre8 thre( out the &onitors8 confiscate! the #allot #o+es an! left* So&e skir&ishes !i! occur in areas aroun! agh!a! an! 3aliki has )ut the ar&y an! security forces on alert* 'ther #allot #o+es are #eing &anually counte! in agh!a! 6air e+hi#ition groun!s after all &e!ia (as instructe! to tone !o(n aggressi$e state&ents (hich )oliticians an! e&#assies try to &e!iate a (ay out8 co&)etitors to 3aliki are )ro&oting that a one )arty go$ern&ent is not )ossi#le an! that an coalition go$ern&ent is the only o)tion to try an! #u!ge !o(n unilateral action #y 3aliki (ho (ill not let go of Po(er*

reaking ne(s hea!line of agh!a!iah -V of the Sa!r "ity allot #o+ snatching inci!ent

Flashback
on the 2;th of &arch 2014 the electoral co&&ission &a!e a grou) resignation in )rotest to )ressures an! threats &a!e &y )olitical )arties &ainly %ouri 2l 3aliki an! (ere then )ersua!e! #y )arlia&ent to go #ack to their )ositions*

<ink= htt)=>>(((*al.a,eera*net>ne(s>)ages>1GE4cG!!:G41G:40F/:1#2e:1E#GFFa1;11G
During ca&)aigning8 a secular (ell re)ute! "an!i!ate of %ota#le co&)etence8 e!ucation & e+)ertise in the 'il sector (as #anne! fro& elections un!er the )rete+t of (asting go$ern&ent fun!s (hen he (as not e$en a go$ern&ent e&)loyee8 he then (as accuse! of #eing a &e&#er of the ol! regi&e (hen his career ha! no e$i!ence of hi& e$en su))orting the Iraqi go$ern&ent )rior to the 200E occu)ation* Dith li&ite! )ersonal fun!s an! not en.oying the fun!s a$aila#le to the corru)t )olitical )arties in Iraq he ha! set out to ca&)aign hi&self !irectly to the Iraqi )eo)le8 -V channels also starte! inter$ie(ing hi& (hen they foun! out of his e+)ulsion* 6orce! to acce)t that it (as a &istake he (as let #ack only t(o !ays #ack into the election8 strangely the #ooklet or !irectory (hich (as a$aila#le at the electoral centre (hich liste! all the can!i!ates an! (as !efinitely )rinte! at least one &onth )rior to elections ha! e$eryone liste! #ut Dr 3oha&&a! Salih Iaini8 can!i!ate %o 11 (as &ysteriously re&o$e! !uring )rinting* -his e$ent raises &any questions on (ho really runs this electoral co&&ission in Iraq*

Final thoughts
Dith all the sectarian )ractices of the 3aliki go$ern&ent8 all the killings8 the 5enoci!e of Iraqis un!er the )rete+t of co&#ating terror8 the struggle to &aintain )o(er8 all the scan!alous corru)tion of his 1 year reign8 4 of (hich (ere !ue to the retreat of 2(a! 2lla(i an! the gi$ea(ay of the 2010 elections an! the continue! &e!!ling of the 9S an! Iran in Iraq0s Politics8 'ne can only conclu!e that 3aliki has )ut hi&self in a )osition (here the release of )o(er &ay translate into future court cases against hi& an! &e&#er of his fa&ily* He has no other o)tion #ut to esca)e for(ar! an! cling to )o(er* -he 9S &ay )refer to kee) hi& regar!less of election results (hile Iran (oul! )refer to re)lace hi& (ith 2l Haki& to )reser$e the )olitical )rocess it has #een allo(e! to create in Iraq 9n!er 9S su)er$ision an! to cal& !o(n the Iraqi street0s !iscontent (ith 3aliki #ut clai&ing that 2lHaki& is change long a(aite! an! a sa$iour like no other either alone or #y for&ing a coalition (ith others such as the Sa!r or e$en the 7ur!s8 final outco&e of this elections (ill not #e clear for so&e ti&e as all these ele&ents quickly scra&#le to sa$e the )olitical )rocess an! &aintain the regional an! international i&age that e$erything in Iraq is running s&ooth* 'ne can only re&e&#er -hat Her Hilter (as electe! into office #y !e&ocratic &echanis&s JJ

2 cartoonist su&s it all u)

Dhile the i&age of a (o&an casting -(o $otes on the in!e)en!ent lea$es one s)eechless JJ

1st of 3ay 201;

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