Public Outcry in Iraq Against Government, At Least 99 Feared Dead

public outcry in Iraq
image via flickr

At least 99 people have been killed so far as the result of public outcry in Iraq during the anti-government protests in Iraq, according to the Parliamentary Commission for Human Rights of the country.

United Nations has immediately called for stopping this government-led brutality, while calling it the “senseless loss of human lives”. It also said that those who are responsible should be brought to justice.

So far, security and medical sources have estimated the casualties could be around double the stated figure. Their estimation results from the renewed skirmishes between the protestors and the police.

The army of the embattled country said that “unknown snippers” had killed at least 4 people, including two police men. In the early hours of Saturday, the authorities called off the day curfew in the capital Baghdad.

Earlier the prime minister of Iraq Adil Abdul Mahdi had said that the government had heard the “just demands” of the protestors and urged them to stay calm. But the Iraqi PM’s appeal went unheard as public outcry in Iraq intensified with hundreds of Iraqis took to streets. Even the indefinite curfew could not prevent them from gathering.

These are the biggest challenges to the weak government of Adil Mahdi since his rise to power a year ago. Before that, several cities including the capital saw mass protests against the rising unemployment, lack of services and widespread corruption.

The Latest Situation of Iraq

The latest situation of Iraq is that there has been curfew for indefinite period in Baghdad for last 4 days. Only rare movements, like going to airports, ambulances and religious pilgrimages, are allowed.

Even social media access has been blocked across the different parts of Iraq. On Friday, security forces had fired live rounds at the protestors defying curfew. Several protestors heading to Baghdad’s Tahrir Squire were seen being shot in the head and legs, according to RushHourDaily.

In Friday, at least ten people were killed including two Iraqi citizens and two police men. Until now, at least 70 people have been reported dead including six security officials, besides hundreds of those injured.

This ongoing protest in Iraq serves as a one-year “celebration” of the PM Mahdi’s rule, and was called online. But remained largely leaderless as it lacked organization.

The UN and the US have expressed their concerns over this government-led repression. However, Iraq’s PM Abdul Mahdi insists that this curfew was necessary to ensure peace and for the protection of the protesters themselves.

A private website Al Ghad Press however contested this claim and said that this repression was aimed at concealing government’s brutal handling of the public demands.

Iraq’s Economy

Iraq is world’s 12th most corrupt currency according to Transparency International.

The country is host to numerous oil fields, both small and big. Yet, 22% of the country’s total population of 40 million lives below $2 a day, according to World Bank.

Every sixth household has to face malfunction of one or another kind. The unemployment rate is 8%; but this figure gets uglier among the younger generation where it is around 16%. Even worse part is that 17% of the employable population of Iraq is completely jobless.


About Staff Writer

My focus is on politics, history, religion, and philosophy of life. I present news analysis and opinion on current affairs and occasionally produce satire articles

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