Iraqi human rights commission says 19 killed in violent protests in Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-03 23:12:17|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) said Thursday that 19 people were killed and over 1,000 others injured in the third day of violent protests in the capital Baghdad and other cities in Iraq's central and southern provinces.

Faten al-Halfi, a member of the IHCHR, told reporters that "the commission's watching teams registered the death of 19 people, including a security member, in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces during the past three days."

Up to 1,041 people were wounded, including a number of security members, al-Halfi said.

"The security forces arrested 210 protesters, but released 154 of them, while the others remained in detention centers," al-Halfi said.

The IHCHR is an independent commission which is linked to the Iraqi parliament. It was established by UN agencies in Iraq in cooperation with the Iraqi government to promote and protect the rights of all Iraq's people according to international standards.

Since Tuesday, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces to express anger at the absence of improvement in basic services, including lack of electricity and clean water, and unemployment.

The demonstration turned violent in Baghdad as clashes erupted with the police.

The protests also spread to other Iraqi provinces when hundreds of protesters attacked and burned several provincial government buildings and offices of leading political parties.

On Wednesday, Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari said in a statement that he has decided to raise the state of alert for the Iraqi armed forces "to preserve state sovereignty and protect all foreign embassies and diplomatic missions operating in Iraq."