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New Iraq PM orders release of detained protesters

May 11, 2020 at 12:03 pm

The speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq, Mohamed Al-Halbousi (right 3) welcomes Iraqi PM-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi who arrived at the parliament for vote of confidence in Baghdad, Iraq on 6 May 2020. [Murtadha Al-Sudani – Anadolu Agency]

Iraq’s newly inaugurated Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi on Saturday ordered the release of all anti-establishment protesters who have been detained since October 2019 and to compensate the relatives of the nearly 600 protesters who were killed in demonstrations.

Speaking after his first cabinet meeting, Al-Kadhimi said he had also ordered the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate the violence that marred the Iraqi protests and to hold those involved in killing of protesters accountable.

Al-Kadhimi added that a crisis cell made up of specialists in foreign affairs and international relations had been formed to review the strategic agreement signed with the United States on the basis of protecting the unity and sovereignty of Iraq

A panel of experts has also been formed to coordinate with the relevant authorities to hold “free and fair” elections, he added.

Despite Al-Kadhimi’s announcements, thousands of Iraqi protesters returned to the streets in the capital, Baghdad and other governorates yesterday demanding an end to rampant corruption, improved living conditions and an overhaul of the country’s political elite.

Iraq PM: Iraq to review strategic agreement with US