UN Security Council calls for 'transparent investigations' into violence against Iraqi protesters

By security forces and armed groups
Demonstrators gesture at a protest during a curfew, three days after the nationwide anti-government protests turned violent, in Baghdad, Iraq October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani

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SULAIMANI — The UN Security Council has expressed its “grave concern” at human rights violations committed against Iraqis participating in the ongoing anti-government demonstrations, including the killing, maiming, and arbitrary arrests of unarmed protesters by the security forces and other armed groups.

In a statement released on Friday (December 13), the members of the Security Council “welcomed efforts for an inclusive dialogue between the Government and people of Iraq to urgently deliver reforms aimed at addressing legitimate demands over economic opportunity, governance and electoral legislation.”

They also called on the government to “promptly conduct transparent investigations” into violence against protesters and expressed their concern about the involvement of armed groups in extrajudicial killings and kidnappings.

The statement also urged maximum restraint by all parties.

Protesters took to the streets at the beginning of October to demand an end to corruption, better public services, and employment, but since then the unrest has become a more general uprising seeking the ouster of the Iraq's political establishment.

More than 400 people have been killed in Baghdad and provinces in the south. Thousands have been injured in the unrest as the government and “third party groups” have used live ammunition, snipers, and tear gas in an attempt put down the protests.

(NRT Digital Media)