Iraq witnesses violent protests, 93 dead

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 05 Oct 2019

Baghdad: The ongoing agitation in Iraq, which is going on for the past four days, has claimed 93 lives so far, media reports said.

The agitations in the oil-rich nation left nearly 4000 people hurt.


At least 93 people were killed and 3,978 injured in violent protests across Iraq this week, Ali Akram al-Bayati, a member of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq, told CNN. 


Iraqi security forces have detained 454 since protests erupted in several Iraqi cities on Tuesday, al-Baiyati told the American news channel. Among those detained, 287 have been released. 


Hundreds of Iraqi nationals had come out on streets in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces, demanding a better life, job opportunities and basic services from the government.


According to the protestors, even after two years of defeating the extremist Islamic State militants, millions of people were still 'living in worsening conditions' in Iraq.


Early in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called on the agitators to maintain peace.


In his televised speech, Mahdi said, "Their (demonstrators) 'legitimate demands' have been heard, but we appeal for calm."


It is seen as the first major challenge to Mahdi's fragile government, nearly a year since he came to power.


The United States-led coalition against ISIS, which has its headquarters in the Green Zone, said in a statement: "We call on all sides to reduce tensions and reject violence. The loss of life and injuries—among civilians and Iraqi Security Forces—is deeply concerning. We believe that peaceful, public rallies are a fundamental element of all democracies; there is no place for violence in those demonstrations.  We rely on protection from Iraqi Security Forces."


Amnesty International also reacted to the issue and tweeted: "We urge Iraqi authorities to ensure an urgent & independent investigation into excessive violence used against demonstrators. Under domestic & int. law, authorities are obliged to respect right to peaceful assembly. In the event of violence, excessive violence should not be used."

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