Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A protester was shot dead in Nasiriyah, southern Iraq


Dozens of demonstrators gathered in front of the governorate headquarters to demand the dismissal of Governor Nazem Al-Waeli due to the deterioration of public services.

The demonstrators torched tires and threw stones at the administrative building before the arrival of the security forces, who used tear gas and live fire to disperse the demonstration.

“A demonstrator under the age of twenty was shot dead,” the medical source in Nassiriya told AFP, adding that four other demonstrators and 12 members of the security forces were wounded.

The Dhi Qar authorities announced the imposition of a strict curfew in all major cities in the governorate to prevent further gatherings.

Decades of wars, corruption and underinvestment have degraded Iraq’s water, electricity, and other public facilities.

Many homes only get a few hours of state-provided electricity per day, and residents complain about contaminated tap water, and anger over poor public services has led to protests in the past.

In late 2019, public frustration with poor services, unemployment, and corruption turned into an unprecedented anti-government movement in southern Iraq as well as in the capital, Baghdad.

Nearly 600 people have been killed in protest-related violence since then, including during the violence in the demonstrations as well as in the assassinations of activists.

Among the dead were more than a dozen security forces.

In January, a policeman was shot dead and dozens were injured during a march in Nasiriyah, which has long been a hotbed of protests.





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