UN: More than 270 People Have Been Killed in the Protests in Iraq
More than 270 people have been killed in the protests in Iraq that are ongoing since October 1, Rupert Colville, an official spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in Geneva.
"We are seriously concerned about the continuing reports of deaths and injuries resulting from police use of force against demonstrators, as well as killings by armed people in Iraq. From 1 October until yesterday evening, the United Nations Human Rights Assistance Mission in Iraq registered 269 deaths in connection with demonstrations taking place across the country, "he said.
According to him, five more were killed during demonstrations outside the government building in Basra. A total of about 8,000 people were injured, including representatives of Iraqi security forces.
"Accurate casualty data can be much higher." Colville added.
"The high death toll includes people who took direct hits to the head from tear gas cartridges, in numbers that suggest a gruesome pattern rather than isolated accidents," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
"Since the protests began, senior government officials have forbidden medical staff from sharing information on the dead and injured with any sources outside the Health Ministry," the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
"Iraqi authorities should not get a free pass for misusing tear gas as a lethal weapon instead of a crowd dispersal method," Whitson said.
Demonstrators in Iraq demand the resignation of the government, the fight against corruption, unemployment and better living conditions. Iraqi Prime Minister Announces Plans to Reorganize Cabinet and Change Election Law. However, he said the resignation of the entire government would plunge the country into chaos. Authorities earlier restructured the provincial security agencies, where protests broke out.
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