OHCHR announces casualty rates of nationwide protests in Iraq

"The total death of both civilians and riot police reached 19 individuals and 1,041 injuries."

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The crisis cell office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Iraq on Thursday officially announced the casualty tolls from nationwide protests, which began on Oct.1.

Massive demonstrations took place in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday across several provinces, with protestors demanding job opportunities, improved public services, and an end to institutional corruption.

The OHCHR released data of casualties in all the governorates in Iraq, which witnessed protests between Oct. 1 to 3.

“The total death of both civilians and riot police reached 19 individuals and 1,041 injuries; while 216 civilians were arrested, 154 have been released so far, with a combined [destruction of] 22 public and private sector buildings,” the organization said in a statement.

“The most deaths took place in Dhi Qar province, with 10 deaths recorded so far, while Baghdad has the most wounded individuals with a total of 440 individuals.”

Following the escalation of protests, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi held an urgent National Security Council meeting on Wednesday, where he put security forces and police on standby, also temporarily suspending work and school on Thursday.

Read More: Protests in Iraq spread to disputed province of Kirkuk

Iraq’s Green Zone was also closed following security measures to ensure the security of government headquarters and foreign embassies. The Green Zone had recently reopened in July 2019.

The government also cut internet access across the southern provinces.

In a statement late Wednesday evening, the prime minister announced a curfew in Baghdad effective 5 a.m. Thursday “until further notice.”

The provincial capitals of Nassiriya, Amara, and Hilla also declared a state of curfew following Baghdad, Reuters reported.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany