Socialist group in EP condemns use of force against demonstrators in Iraq

BRUSSELS, The group of Socialists and Democrats (S and D) in the European Parliament Monday condemned ” the brutal and deadly crackdown by the Iraq authority forces on the street protestors who are demanding improved services and more action to curb corruption.” “We call for a thorough and independent investigation into the lethal violence against the protestors,” said the second-largest political group in the EP in a press release.

Kati Piri, S and D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs,noted that since the beginning of October, tens of thousands people took to the streets in Baghdad and southern cities of Iraq.

“Their concerns are legitimate. A quarter of young people are unemployed, basic public services are absent, and corruption is endemic. Protesters were unarmed, posing no security threat, and yet, the crackdown by the authorities was brutal and deadly,” she said.

Iraqi security forces killed at least 140 and injured more than five thousand. There are reports that snipers shot at protesters as they dispersed and sprayed them with scalding water, said Piri.

“These actions are blatant and unacceptable human rights violations and we condemn them in the strongest terms. We call for a thorough and independent investigation into the lethal violence against the protestors, ” she added .

S and D MEP Domenec Ruiz Devesa, the first vice-president of the EP-Iraq Delegation, added that “for Iraq to be stable, it also needs to be free from interference of external players.” He called on the protestors, the government, the parliament, political parties, religious leaders and civil society actors to agree on a framework for dialogue and long-term reform that would address the legitimate concerns of the population.

Source: Kuwait News Agency