Security forces have fired teargas cartridges directly at protesters in Baghdad, Iraq on numerous occasions since protests resumed on October 25, 2019, killing at least 16, Human Rights Watch said today. The dead are among the large number of protesters Iraqi forces have killed since daily protests began in Baghdad and in other cities in southern Iraq against corruption and for better public services, among other demands.
According to a November 5 United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) report, the nationwide death toll from October 25 through November 4 reached at least 97. The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) tallied at least 105 dead and 5,655 injured during that same period. From November 5 to 6, Reuters reported that security forces had killed at least six more protesters.
“The high death toll includes people who took direct hits to the head from teargas cartridges, in numbers that suggest a gruesome pattern rather than isolated accidents,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “With the death toll now at over 100, all of Iraq’s global partners should be unequivocal in their condemnation.”