The US embassy in Baghdad condemns “acts of violence” against the Nasiriyah demonstrators

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The United States condemned, on Saturday, the acts of violence against peaceful demonstrators that took place in the city of Nasiriyah, which killed at least five people and wounded dozens of others, Friday.

The embassy said on its Facebook page that “there is no place for unjustified acts of violence in any democracy, adding that” the United States joins the international community in calling for the accountability of those responsible.

It also called on the Iraqi government to “provide protection for demonstrators and others participating in the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression.”

The United States condemns the acts of violence against peaceful demonstrators that took place in Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar Governorate today. Nowhere…

Published byU.S. Embassy BaghdadIn Saturday, 28 November 2020

On Friday, bloody confrontations took place in Dhi Qar governorate, between the protesters and supporters of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who stormed Al-Haboubi Square, the stronghold of the protests in Nasiriyah.

The clashes took place after tens of thousands of Sadr supporters gathered in Nasiriyah and Baghdad, in a show of force with the approaching legislative elections scheduled for next June.

Supporters of Sadr, carrying pictures of the cleric, marched after Friday prayers to Al-Haboubi Square in the city center, where anti-government protesters have been holding a sit-in since 2019.

A Reuters witness said that Sadr’s supporters fired bullets and threw firebombs at the protesters’ tents, prompting the protesters to respond.

Al-Sadr’s popularity decreased significantly after the protests against the ruling political class in the country, which began in October 2019, and al-Sadr had contradictory positions towards them, and many protesters accuse him of colluding with the forces loyal to Tehran in order to destroy the popular movement.

After the escalation of tension in Nassiriya, the authorities imposed a curfew and proceeded to dismiss the city’s police chief and appoint a replacement for him.

On Saturday, the Nassiriya protesters called on the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi to resign after its “failure” to protect the protesters.



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