Amnesty International has warned that Iraqi security forces were deliberately attacking peaceful protesters in southern Iraq and Baghdad and disabling internet access.
Trusted sources told the organization they believe internet access is being cut off to prevent them sharing footage and pictures of the excessive and unnecessary force used by security forces, including the use of live ammunition, in cities in the southern governorates of the country, especially Basra, Amnesty said.
“We are closely monitoring the escalating situation across southern Iraq and are extremely worried by reports that security forces are beating, arbitrarily detaining and even opening fire on peaceful protesters,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Deliberately disabling the internet is a sinister restriction to the right to freedom of expression and strongly indicates that the authorities have something to hide. We fear this blackout is deliberately designed to give carte blanche to the security forces to repress peaceful activists without being recorded and held accountable.”