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Iraq: 319 killed in anti-govt protests since Oct 1

11th Nov 2019
Iraq: 319 killed in anti-govt protests since Oct 1

By Idris Okuducu

 

BAGHDAD (AA): The death toll from anti-government protests throughout Iraq has reached 319 since Oct.1, according to a statement by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights on Sunday.

The commission also said 15,000 people were wounded during the demonstrations in the country.

Amid the demonstrations that left scores dead, Amnesty International has called on Iraqi authorities to rein in the security forces.

On Sunday, the Iraqi government said in a statement posted on the presidential website that it rejected any military intervention against the peaceful demonstrators.

Warning that a “climate of fear has set in”, the United Nations mission in Iraq UNAMI proposed a series of steps to end the crisis.

It called for “maximum restraint in the handling of the protests, including no use of live ammunition, ban the improper use of non-lethal devices (such as tear gas canisters)”.

UNAMI urged the release of demonstrators and called for an investigation into the abductions of activists and doctors, who rights group say have been taken by security forces or armed groups.

It proposed a raft of measures to be undertaken over the next weeks and months, including implementing electoral and constitutional reforms, prosecuting those involved in corruption and enacting laws to prevent graft.

Popular anger has been simmering in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many residents have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.

Iraq’s youth unemployment is at around 25%, according to World Bank figures. It is also the 12th most corrupt country in the world, according to several organizations that monitor transparency.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Demonstration against Iraqi government corruptions in Baghdad on November 10, 2019. Photographer: Murtadha Sudani/AA]

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