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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Iraqi protesters demand accountability after militants were killed | Middle East News


After dozens of pro-democracy activists were killed, hundreds protested in Baghdad, demanding an end to impunity.

Hundreds of Iraqis protested in central Baghdad, demanding that the authorities hold accountable the murderers of dozens of militants associated with the long-standing protest movement.

Since the outbreak of the democratic protest movement against government corruption and incompetence in 2019, more than 70 activists have been targeted by assassinations, attempted murders and kidnappings.

Hussein Al-Faili, an 18-year-old student, told AFP on Sunday at Firdos Square, the main protest site: “We are here to end impunity in Iraq. .”

“We want freedom! This revolution started because of this, and we will not stop until we win.”

Dozens of people also appeared in the southern city of Nasiriya, where tensions have been increasing after a fire broke out in the hospital. Killed at least 60 people on Monday.

Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi announced on Friday that four were arrested in the straightforward shooting of the famous academic and government adviser Hisham al-Hashemi a year ago. Suspects.

Iraq’s state television broadcast a brief clip of the 36-year-old police lieutenant Ahmed al-Kenani’s confession on Friday night, saying that he had murdered Hashmi with a pistol.

A security source told AFP that Kenani belongs to the pro-Iranian militia group Qatab Hezbollah.

But Farley said that arrests were not enough.

“We want the big man who ordered the murder,” Farley said.

Iraqi demonstrators reacted at the rally, calling for support for the principles of justice and accountability [Saba Kareem/Reuters]

On Sunday, most young protesters chanted against “political parties and traitors,” while others tearfully recalled their assassinated comrades.

After the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and subsequent turmoil, Iraq remains torn and impoverished, and has always been a battleground of influence between Washington and Tehran, with the latter supporting paramilitary organizations and politicians.

Activist Shatha Al-Qaisi said: “This sport… seeks to gain support from all over the world to stop the bloodshed. This is not a politicized sport.”

The High Commission for Human Rights reported that since anti-government protests swept through Iraq in October 2019, nearly 35 activists have been killed in Iraq.

Many expect that as Iraq plans to hold elections early in October, the killings will continue, which is the main demand of anti-government protesters.


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