A protester was shot dead and dozens injured during the violence at a rally in Baghdad two days ago.
The United States is outraged that peaceful Iraqi protesters calling for reform are facing threats and “brutal violence,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.
A protester was shot dead and dozens injured during violence in a Baghdad rally two days ago, when thousands gathered to demand accountability from Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi for the killings of prominent Iraqi activists and protesters.
“The United States is outraged that peaceful protesters who took to the streets to urge reform received brutal threats and violence,” Price said in a statement.
“We welcome all government efforts to hold militias, thugs and vigilante groups accountable for their attacks on Iraqis exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as for their assault on the rule of law, ”the state says. The department spokesman said.
What began as a hopeful wave of protests in Tahrir Square sparked tensions throughout the day. ending in violence while security forces fired tear gas and tear gas to crack down on protesters in the early hours of the evening.
Videos shared on social media showed a chaos reminiscent of October 2019, when the nationwide social uprising began and several security forces killed several protesters.
The United States is outraged by the lack of respect for the rule of law in Iraq. The judiciary must be allowed to operate without intimidation and threats of violence, and Iraqis exercising their rights and freedoms should be able to demonstrate without fear of attack. https://t.co/pBdxZCJrYT
– Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) May 27, 2021
Nearly 600 protesters have been killed and 35 activists killed in 82 targeted killings, according to the Iraqi High Commission on Human Rights.
Tuesday’s protests had been sparked by the assassination of activist Ihab Jawad al-Wazni near his home in Karbala on May 9 and he called on his family to end impunity.
The perpetrators have not yet been identified, but activists and protesters pointed to militias backed by Iran. Hundreds of people protesting in Tahrir Square on May 25 had shouted slogans against Iran-backed militias.
Iraqi security forces on May 26 arrested Qasim Muslih, commander of the popular mobilization forces of the Shiite militia supported by Iran in Anbar province.
Muslih was arrested in connection with the recent attacks on Ain al-Assad air base, where the US and other international forces are housed, officials told Reuters news service.
Meanwhile, with public discontent increases, the government of Prime Minister al-Kadhimi faces national elections that have been delayed from June to October.
After taking office in May last year, al-Kadhimi had promised to hold early elections to appease protesters demanding a review of the country’s political system. Now, a boycott is being called for elections among many Iraqis disillusioned with the pace of progress.