At least two people have died and another ten have been injured this Tuesday during the demonstrations held in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad , in protest at the deaths of protesters and activists in previous marches organized to demand democratic advances in the country.
The day has passed quietly until the police have begun to use tear gas and live ammunition against the protesters around 6:00 p.m. (local time), reports the Rudaw media network. “The Iraqi forces use excessive violence against the demonstrators. The violence seems to be the behavior of the Iraqi governments,” the Iraqi Human Rights Observatory reported, posting a video of the police action on Twitter.
Until then, the protesters had chanted slogans against the Iraqi government, which they accused of being corrupt and incapable, and demanding justice for the deaths of more than thirty people in the protests that have been taking place for the last three years in Iraq . Several people from different parts of the country have come to the demonstrations on Monday to march to Tahrir Square, the epicenter of protests throughout these years.
After the incidents, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al Kazemi, has announced through his Twitter account that the Government will open “a transparent investigation into the truth about what happened in the last moments of the Tahrir Square demonstration to discover the circumstances “in which the demonstrators were killed.
In addition, he added that the Administration supports “the freedom of peaceful protest in Iraq”, for which it has issued “strict orders for the protection of demonstrations, moderation and the prohibition of the use of live bullets for any reason.” “Security is everyone’s responsibility and we must all participate to preserve it,” concluded the leader.
For its part, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has condemned what happened during this day of protests and insisted that “only accountability will stop the pattern of deadly attacks against civic and political activists .” “Accountability is key to the stability of Iraq. The Iraqi people have the right to know. If the perpetrators think they have silenced the voices, they have only amplified them,” UNAMI wrote on its Twitter account.
Since October 2019, the central and southern regions of Iraq have been the scene of several demonstrations that have demanded the departure of the Government and better policies to deal with corruption, unemployment and the scarcity of endemic public services that drags the country.
The Iraqi Human Rights Observatory has denounced that since 2019, some 34 people have died in the framework of these protests and another 81 have suffered torture and assassination attempts.
The protests on Tuesday were sparked after the death earlier this month of Iraqi activist Ihab Jawad al Wazni, shot dead by gunmen outside his home in Karbala, central Iraq.