Today the UN Human Rights Council will hold a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session to examine Iraq’s human rights records. The rash of killings of protestors by Iraqi security forces over the past month should at the front of diplomats’ minds as they shape their recommendations.
At least 147 protesters were killed by security forces in protests in Baghdad and Iraq’s southern cities in early October; more than 100 have been killed in a second wave since October 25.
In the second wave, Baghdad security forces have fired teargas cartridges not just to disperse crowds, but in some cases directly at protesters, a brutal form of lethal force. The UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) documented 16 protesters killed by teargas cartridges striking their heads or chests. Amnesty International has identified that some of the teargas cartridges Iraqi forces are using to kill protesters were made in Iran.