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Iraq releases 336 activists arrested during protests in the south

July 20, 2018 at 10:01 am

Fadhil Al-Gharawi, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq [Iraqi High Commission For Human Rights/Facebook]

The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq today announced the release of 336 activists who were arrested during mass protests in the south since 9 July.

Fadhil Al-Gharawi, a member of the government backed commission, said in a statement that the Iraqi authorities released 86 activists who were arrested during demonstrations in the Najaf.

The authorities also released 70 others in Muthanna province, while four are still in detention.

Some 180 detainees were released in Maysan province and three others remain in detention, Al-Gharawi said.

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Iraqi authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Iraqis in the south of the country have been protesting since 9 July calling for the provision of public services and jobs and fighting corruption.

The protests sparked violence and the burning of public property and party offices, leaving at least six dead and dozens wounded.

Read: Iraq’s southern uprising could ignite the largest revolt the country has witnessed in recent memory

The government took decisions last week in an effort to contain the protests, including the allocation of government jobs and funds to the province of Basra, where the protests began, as well as plans to implement service projects in the short and medium term, but protesters say the measures are insufficient.