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EU foreign policy chief slams Iraq use of violence against protesters

Iraqi protesters try to remove the security forces' barricades on Al-Sarafiya Bridge and try to enter the road of the high-security Green Zone, where key government offices and foreign embassies are based, during ongoing anti-government demonstrations at Tahrir Square in Iraq's capital Baghdad on 30 October 2019. [Murtadha Sudani - Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi protesters in Baghdad on 30 October 2019 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, has criticised the Iraq security forces’ excessive use of force against protesters.

“The excessive use of force against protestors is deplorable,” Mogherini said in a statement, adding that over the past month, the people of Iraq have exercised their fundamental rights, which need to be respected in line with the Iraqi constitution.

“The reported attacks by armed entities against demonstrators undermine the right to peaceful assembly and the expression of legitimate demands,” she added.

As many as ten people, including four paramedics, have been killed in the past 24 hours during protests in Iraq. Seven of the victims were killed in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad.

According to eyewitnesses, the Iraqi armed forces fired live ammunition at protesters who gathered in Al-Rasheed Street near the Shorja market and Mutanabi Street in Baghdad.

More than 250 people have been killed since anti-establishment protests began in October.

READ: Iraq PM says government won’t resign ‘smooth and rapid’ alternative

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