Iraqi Human Rights Society condemns excessive use of force against Iraqi demonstrators

U.S. / IRAQ – The President of the Iraqi Human Rights Society in the U.S.A. Mr Hisham al-Asadi expressed the Society’s strong rejection of the excessive use of force of the last two days by Iraqi security forces against peaceful demonstrators. The use of excessive force to disperse protesters by firing live bullets, using tear gas and severe beatings is unacceptable, he said in a statement yesterday.

The Iraqi Human Rights Society strongly condemned the repressive methods used against peaceful demonstrators in the squares where protesters have gathered anew and especially pointed to the violence used against students and educated people in front of the building of the Ministry of Higher Education in Baghdad which led to the death and injury of protesters.

The recent demonstrations take place in all Iraqi provinces as a result of deteriorating public services, faltering electricity supply, the dire economic and poor health care situation, high unemployment especially among the youth, corruption, and the widespread presence of weapons outside the framework of state.

In the statement Hisham al-Asadi called for the Iraqi security services to stop using repressive methods and excessive use of force against the suffering Iraqi people who are the basis of Iraqi authority and only demands their legitimate rights in accordance with the Rule of Law. Protesters simply practice their right to peaceful protest.

The statement concluded by also calling on the demonstrators not to defy the security forces and to keep the demonstrations peaceful. An extra alert was made to the protesters to be cautious and on their guard for elements which infiltrate the demonstrations to spread chaos. The government was asked to immediately open an investigation into the attacks on the protesters and to hold those involved in shooting on the protesters to account and bring them to justice.