Iraqi panel recommends prosecution of security officers over deaths of protesters

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-22 20:25:27|Editor: xuxin
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- An Iraqi investigation panel recommended Tuesday to sack and prosecute a number of security officers, including high-ranking ones, over killing some 150 protesters following a wave of anti-government protests over unemployment, corruption and lack of public services.

The recommendation came after the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi formed a high-level panel led by the Minister of Planning Nuri al-Dulaimi, and several other ministers and high-ranking government officials, including the ministers of defense and interior.

After the investigation, the panel announced its final report, in which it confirmed that there were no direct orders from the high security authority to open fire at protesters, but the security officers used excessive force with live ammunition due to their "weak command and control during the protests" that led to high casualties.

The panel's report put the death toll of the protests across Iraq at 149 while 4,207 others were wounded.

According to the report, the statistics of the medical-legal directorate showed that 70 percent of the deaths were caused by shots in heads and chests.

The panel recommended sacking and prosecuting a number of security officers, including Jalil al-Rubaie, commander of Baghdad Operations Command, in addition to Baghdad police chief and other senior officers in the provinces that witnessed violent protests.

The panel's report came as part of the Iraqi government's efforts to ease the tension in the country after a wave of protests earlier in the month in many cities in central and southern Iraq over the worsening living conditions which threatened to drag the crisis-ridden state back into violence and disintegration.

According to earlier official reports, the protests claimed the lives of over 100 people, including eight security members, and wounded 6,107 others.