UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Demonstrators are trying to maintain the momentum of protests calling for the “overthrow of the regime” in Iraq, after an agreement between the political blocs to keep the current authority even if it requires the use of force to end, while Amnesty International warned of a “bloodbath”.
And reached the Iraqi political blocs on Saturday to an agreement to put an end to the protests, which began on the first of October. This has been accompanied by increasing repression, which has risen to a new level against demonstrations.
Four protesters were killed, three of them live ammunition, in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad and three others in Basra, the country’s second-largest city in the far south.
Protests continued in the oil-rich Basra where security forces imposed a cordon to prevent demonstrators from approaching the provincial council building, a day after a wave of arrests against protesters, AFP correspondents reported.
In the southern city of Nassiriya, security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators trying to close a new government department as part of a wave of civil disobedience that paralyzed a large number of government institutions, according to an AFP correspondent.
There were renewed student protests in Diwaniya as police deployed near schools and colleges to prevent students from joining the demonstrations, an AFP correspondent said.
Schools, colleges and most government institutions remained closed in Hilla and Kut, both south of Baghdad, an AFP correspondent reported.
The protests, which began on October 1, witnessed bloody violence that killed about 300 people, most of them demonstrators calling for the “overthrow of the regime,” and wounded more than 12,000 others, according to an AFP count as authorities stopped. .
Amnesty International called on the Iraqi authorities to “immediately order an end to the continued and illegal use of lethal force” against demonstrators.
“This bloodbath must stop and those responsible must be prosecuted,” said a statement from the independent human rights organization.
Activists and doctors taking part in the protests, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they feel the noose is tightening them as they go after them and receive death threats via social media or at the heart of the protests.
The UN representative in Iraq, Jenin Hennes Blaschert, said on Sunday that she was receiving “information every day about demonstrators killed, abducted, arbitrarily detained, beaten and intimidated.”
She denounced the “climate of fear” imposed by the Iraqi authorities, stressing that “fundamental rights are constantly violated” in this country.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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