Iraq says nearly 560 killed in anti-government unrest

PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government has pledged to investigate the deaths and incarceration of hundreds of protesters


Reuters July 30, 2020
Iraqi protesters gather at a roadblock in al-Tayaran Square in central Baghdad on July 28, 2020 during ongoing anti-government protest due to poor public services. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

CAIRO:

Nearly 560 Iraqi protesters and security forces were killed in months of anti-government unrest that erupted last year, the government said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s new government has pledged to investigate the deaths and incarceration of hundreds of protesters in unrest that unseated the previous government last year.

The death toll is roughly in line with what news outlets and rights groups have reported.

The government will treat all 560 people as “martyrs” and each family will be offered 10 million dinars ($8,380) in compensation, Hisham Daoud, the prime minister’s adviser, told reporters.

Protests began on Oct. 1 and continued for several months, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis demanding jobs, services and the removal of the ruling elite, which they said was corrupt.

The protests caused the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who was replaced in May by Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief.

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