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Human Rights
Over 300 people killed in nationwide anti-government protests in Iraq: Rights Group

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 10 Nov 2019 Print

Over 300 people killed in nationwide anti-government protests in Iraq: Rights Group

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Cairo/Sputnik/UNI: More than 300 people died and nearly 15,000 were injured during ongoing anti-government protests across Iraq since October, Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq (IHCHR) said on Sunday.

Similar death toll figures were reported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday, mentioning that 269 people were killed and over 8,000 were injured.

IHCHR wrote on Facebook earlier in the day that it "has observed demonstrations in Baghdad and a number of provinces through its monitoring teams and noted the following: 1. Security forces continued to use live bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse demonstrators," among 14 other points.

On Saturday, the Iraqi military rejected the claim that its army deployed weapons to disperse the protesters, calling such information false.
Abdul Karim Khalaf, the spokesman for the country's Armed Forces told Sputnik that officers who were in close proximity to the protests did not carry weapons with them. In fact, firearms were only used by the military personnel guarding vital facilities, he added.

Nationwide protests began across Iraq in early October, with people demanding the government's dismissal, as well as economic reforms, better living conditions, social welfare and an end to corruption. As rallies grew more violent, the government had to declare a curfew and cut Internet access in Baghdad and other regions. In the wake of all this, Iraqi President Barham Salih announced on October 31 that Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had agreed to resign.