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Amnesty calls for justice for victims of Iraq protests

October 2, 2020 at 9:53 am

An Iraqi protester waves a national flag while demonstrating outside the burnt-down local government headquarters in Iraq on 7 September 2018 [HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images]

Amnesty International yesterday called on the Iraqi government to ensure justice is served for hundreds of protesters who have been killed or forcibly disappeared during the country’s anti-government protests that erupted a year ago.

“The Iraqi government must step up its efforts to deliver justice to the hundreds killed in the course of exercising their right to peaceful assembly. Find the missing, deliver justice for lives lost!” the rights watchdog said on Twitter, adding that last year thousands of protesters in Iraq took to the streets “demanding better living conditions and an end to corruption. Security forces responded with killing protesters, while dozens of activists are still being hunted down and killed to this day.”

The Iraqi authorities’ promises to achieve justice for the victims, Amnesty continued, was “nothing but ink on paper”, as gunmen continue to target activists and demonstrators with impunity.

Earlier yesterday, thousands of protesters gathered in public squares in Baghdad and several other governorates, to commemorate the first anniversary of the popular protests that swept the country for months leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured.

In July, the government said nearly 560 protesters and security personnel had been killed in the protests, while Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, pledged to investigate the killing and imprisonment of hundreds of protesters.

The protesters accuse riot police and Shia armed militias of killing activists in “deliberate disregard” for the law.

Iraq: Female activist and family slaughtered in Baghdad