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IHCHR monitors demonstrations, calls for restraint from security forces

Graphic: Commission monitoring staff at a demonstration

Clashes between security forces and demonstrators led to the death of two demonstrators and the injury of 11 others, some very serious.

The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, through its monitoring teams, documented the events that took place in Tahrir Square in Baghdad on 26 July 2020.

Clashes between security forces and demonstrators led to the death of two demonstrators and the injury of 11 others, some very serious. In addition, four security personnel were injured.

The IHCHR also documented the use of live and rubber bullets, and tear gas.

In a statement, the IHCHR expressed its deep concern for those killed and injured and described the use of force as "a flagrant violation of human rights and UN law enforcement standards and transgression of the rights to peaceful protest".

The IHCHR called on the government to conduct an urgent investigation into the events, bring those responsible to justice and instruct all security forces to allow ambulances and medical teams to enter Tahrir Square immediately to transfer those killed and injured.

The Commission also called on the security forces and demonstrators to take utmost restraint and urged security forces to focus on protecting demonstrators and preventing any excessive violence.

Further, the IHCHR stressed its demand "for the government to provide quick solutions and respond to the demands of peaceful demonstrators throughout Iraq by providing basic health and humanitarian services, especially electricity".

The IHCHR also reported that it had monitored demonstrations taking place near government institutions and buildings by citizens protesting the failure of the government to fulfil promises made to them

Monitoring teams reported that the security forces in charge of protecting the Ministry of Higher Education dispersed a sit-in of university graduates by force, without regard for their safety.

The IHCHR said in a statement that freedom of expression, peaceful demonstration and demanding rights are guaranteed in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Iraqi Constitution.

Source: Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights

Date: 1 August 2020


Image credits

  1. Commission monitoring staff at a demonstration - IHCHR