43 Iraqi police officers will be prosecuted over the deaths of anti-government protesters


43 Iraqi police officers will be prosecuted over the deaths of anti-government protesters

2019/12/04 | 08:50 - Source: Iraq News

(ThisDay | Iraq News Now)- 43 Iraqi police officers will be prosecuted over the deaths of anti-government protesters after more than 400 people were killedAt least 400 demonstrators have been killed and thousands have been wounded Officers will either be sentenced to death or given seven years in prison Prosecution comes four days after Iraqi Prime Minister announced resignation By Isabella Nikolic For Mailonline Published: 16:49 GMT, 3 December 2019 | Updated: 16:53 GMT, 3 December 2019 Some 43 Iraqi officers accused of shooting anti-government protesters at mass demonstrations in early October are set to face prosecution later this month.At least 400 demonstrators have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the protests began at the start of October. The protests, which saw 140 people killed and 4,200 wounded during its first five days, are rallying against corruption and lack of jobs and services.

Some 43 of Iraqi officers accused of shooting anti-government protesters at mass demonstrations in early October are set to face prosecution later this month.

An Iraqi protester flashes the v-sign during a protest in Karbala, southern Iraq At least 400 demonstrators have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the protests began at the start of October. Iraqi soldier is carried away by demonstrators during anti-government protests in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala The protests, which saw 140 people killed and 4,200 wounded during its first five days, are rallying against corruption and lack of jobs and services. A protester wears a gas mask during anti-government protestsTwo officers have already been sentenced for their part in killing demonstrators, one was sentenced to death and the other to seven years in prison. An Iraqi security official told The National: 'Forty-three police officers will be prosecuted this month for the killing of protesters during the period of October 1 and 5.'Like the first two officers, the others will either get the death penalty or be sentenced to seven years in prison.'A police officer was sentenced to death on Sunday for killing demonstrators in Wasit province in Baghdad.Iraqis believe that militias linked to the group are behind a few of the killings. The Higher Judiciary Council issued an arrest warrant against General Jamil Al Shammari for the killing of protesters in Nasiriyah last week.

They also barred him from leaving the country.

Demonstrators can be seen setting a fire in front of the Iranian consulate as they gathered during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq yesterday.

Authorities imposed a curfew across the city, which houses the second holiest site for Shi'ite MuslimsHe is accused of leading a crackdown on a protest in Nasiriyah on Thursday which killed at least 29 demonstrators and injured more than 200.     The protests, which began in Baghdad on 1 October and have spread through southern cities, are the most complex challenge facing the Shi'ite-dominated ruling class that has controlled state institutions and patronage networks since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled long-time Sunni ruler Saddam Hussein. Protesters are mostly unemployed Shi'ite youth who demand the departure of Iraq's entire political elite.Security forces have used live ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades against mostly unarmed protesters.

Some demonstrators have lobbed petrol bombs, bricks and fired slingshots at police.

A protester covering his face with a bandana gestures the peace sign in front of the torched Iranian consulate yesterday in Najaf.

Security forces opened fire on demonstrators who had gathered on a bridge in Nassiriya last night and killed eight of themA spokesman for the UN secretary-general expressed deep concern over the use of live ammunition against protesters on Friday.'The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the Iraqi authorities to exercise maximum restraint, protect the lives of demonstrators, respect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and swiftly to investigate all acts of violence,' said Stéphane Dujarric, in a statement. It comes four days after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said he would submit his resignation to parliament, a day after more than 40 people were killed by security forces and following calls by Iraq's top Shia cleric for lawmakers to withdraw support.

An Iraqi protester waves the Iraqi national flag as he stands on a concrete wall at the Iranian counsulate in Karbala, Iraq, 03 November 2019.

This is the second time the Iranian consulate has been stormed since anti-government protests began in OctoberThe announcement was met with cheers and blaring music across Baghdad's iconic Tahrir Square, where demonstrators have massed since early October against a ruling class deemed corrupt and in hock to foreign powers.In a statement, Abdul-Mahdi said he 'listened with great concern' to al-Sistani's sermon and made his decision in response to his call and in order to 'facilitate and hasten its fulfillment as soon as possible.''I will submit to parliament an official memorandum resigning from the current prime ministry so that the parliament can review its choices,' he said.

Abdul-Mahdi was appointed prime minister just over a year ago as a consensus candidate between political blocs. 

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