The Office of the High Commission for Human Rights in Basra
on Wednesday requested the provincial council to hold an emergency meeting to
inform the province’s citizens of the government’s approach in dealing with
issues facing the province.
The office said in a statement, "We call on the Basra provincial council to hold an emergency meeting in the presence of the governor and members of the House of Representatives, as well as representatives of the Human Rights Office and those representing the spectrum of Basra’s society, to inform the province’s citizens of the extent of the central government's response to their demands and the local government’s projects for employment opportunities and services.
The statement added that it is necessary to discuss the water issue, which has not significantly changed, especially with the continued pollution of entire areas such as Shatt al-Arab, which has led to high rates of water poisoning.
Basra has seen widespread protests over the contaminated water, unemployment, lack of basic services and the lack of concern from Baghdad. Anger in the province was reignited when Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi revealed his cabinet nominees, which lacked any representation from struggling, oil-rich province.