Several international and local human rights groups have denounced the Iraqi government's crackdown on protesters, as security forces have used excessive force against them, while many arrests have been made, well-informed sources said.
The rights groups have called for the release of protesters and holding security personnel who were involved in killing of some protesters accountable for such crime, the sources explained.
The sources underlined that many Iraqi cities have witnessed an escalation, after Najaf'sMarja declared his support to the ongoing protests, as protesters held sit-ins in various cities.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jan Kubis met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Leader of Sadrist Movement Muqtada al-Sadr to discuss practical solutions to meet the demands of protesters, the sources pointed out.
A number of Iraqi cities and provinces, including Basra, Maysan, Dhi Qar, Babil, Diwaniyah, Wassit, Najaf, Muthanna and Karbala are witnessing mass demonstrations and sit-ins to protest against shortage of jobs, electricity, water and basic services.
This comes as sources said the situation in southern Iraq is getting out of control as angry protests are taking control of the provinces. Activists expressed concern the IRGC militia exploits the ongoing turmoil to spread terror and hamper oil transfers.