Baghdad, 7 December 2019 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, condemns in the strongest terms the shooting of unarmed protesters in central Baghdad on Friday night, which left a high number of deaths and injuries among innocent citizens: “The deliberate killing of unarmed protesters by armed elements is nothing less than an atrocity against the people of Iraq. The perpetrators must be identified and brought to justice without delay”.
The Special Representative urges Iraqi Armed Forces to spare no effort to protect the peaceful protesters from violence by armed elements operating outside state control. She calls on peaceful protesters to cooperate constructively to ensure the peaceful protests can be duly protected.
Acts of violence that are gang-driven, arising from external loyalties, politically motivated or intended to settle scores, risk placing Iraq on a dangerous trajectory. It is essential to join hands in defending fundamental rights, such as the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech.
The Special Representative expresses her deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.
For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson