Following several nights of protests in Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, and the use of excessive force by security forces including live ammunition, which resulted in the deaths of at least seven protesters, Razaw Salihy, Amnesty International’s Iraq Researcher, said:
“We welcome Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s stated commitment to conduct an investigation into the deaths and violence during the protests. Amnesty International urges the Iraqi authorities to ensure that such an investigation be conducted in an independent, impartial and effective manner.
“Security forces, for the second time since July, opened fire on protesters who were demanding improved public services, including water, electricity, better medical services and an end to corruption. The Iraqi authorities are obligated to respect the right to peaceful protests, and even if protesters are violent, only the minimum force necessary to address it can be used.