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US condemns use of violence against Iraq protesters

November 7, 2019 at 11:49 am

Security forces confront Iraqi demonstrators with water cannons and tear gas canisters as they tenter Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq on 1 October 2019 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

The US embassy in Baghdad has condemned the “killing and abduction of unarmed protesters and threats to freedom of expression,” Anadolu Agency reported.

In a statement yesterday, the embassy said that the United States “has a strong and abiding interest in a secure and prosperous Iraq able to defend the nation against violent extremist groups and able to deter those who would undermine Iraqi sovereignty and democracy.”

“As the world watches events in Iraq unfold it is increasingly clear that the Government of Iraq and the country’s political leaders must engage seriously and urgently with Iraqi citizens who are demanding reform. There is no path forward based on suppression of the will of the Iraqi people,” it said.

The embassy concluded its statement by stressing that the Iraqi people “must be free to make their own choices about the future of their nation.”

Since 25 October, Iraq has witnessed clashes between security forces and protesters during which at least 275 people have been killed and thousands more wounded.

READ: Iraq forces kill 13 protesters in renewed crackdown on unrest