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Iraq has taken 'first steps' towards punishing killers of protesters, Kadhimi says

Iraqi-Prime-Minister-Mustafa-al-Kadhimi-gestures-during-a-meeting-with-security-leaders-in-Basra
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi said his Cabinet had taken the first steps towards prosecuting and punishing those involved in killing and attacking protesters and activists.

Anti-government protests against unemployment and poor public services began last October.

They turned violent as a heavy-handed approach by security forces led to the deaths of more than 500 people, with thousands injured.

“The first duty of any government is to defend the rights and dignity of its citizens,” Mr Al Kadhimi said on Saturday during a meeting with members of the Independent Human Rights Commission.

The protesters appeared to be independent of any political party and seemed to have taken the security forces by surprise.

Various human rights organisations called on the government to rein in the security forces and investigate the killings.

“The government has made an accurate account of those who were killed and injured, and it is now proceeding with legal matters,” Mr Al Kadhimi said.


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