Diplomats in Iraq condemn excessive violence, urge credible probe into deaths
Envoys of 16 countries in Iraq, including, France, Britain and the United States, on Monday condemned the use of excessive violence by Iraqi security forces and armed groups and called for a credible investigation into hundreds of deaths since October.
“Despite assurances by the government, security forces and armed groups continue to use live fire in these locations, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries of civilians, while some protestor face intimidation and abduction,” the joint statement said, referring to the cities of Baghdad, Nassiriya and Basra.
The ambassadors called on Iraq to respect freedoms of assembly and right to protest peacefully and urged the Baghdad government to “guarantee credible investigations and accountability for the over 500 deaths and thousands of injuries of protesters since Oct. 1.”
Baghdad is in the throes of mass anti-government protests.
On Sunday, Populist Iraqi cleric Moqtaqa al-Sadr called off demonstrations against the US embassy “to avoid internal strife,” his office said.
In a related development, the United States called on Iraq on Sunday to protect American diplomatic facilities after the US embassy in Baghdad was hit by three rockets.