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Press briefing on Iraq

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Marta Hurtado

Location: Geneva 

Date: 29 November 2019

Subject: Iraq casualties

We are deeply disturbed by the continued killing and wounding of protestors in Iraq, including the latest casualties during the extremely violent events over the past two days in Nassariya, during which, according to verification carried out by UNAMI human rights staff, at least 24 people were killed and more than 210 injured. A number of people were also killed and injured in Najaf, but we have not yet been able to verify the extent of casualties there. 

The overall number of casualties verified by the UN since protests began at the beginning of October now stands at 354 dead and 8,104 injured. The actual total is likely to be higher. 

Once again we urge the Iraqi authorities to take much firmer and more effective action to ensure security forces do not employ excessive use of force, and in particular use of live ammunition, as they have been doing repeatedly since the protests began. There must also be investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for unlawful killings.

For more information and media requests, please contact: Rupert Colville - + 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org or Ravina Shamdasani - 41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org or Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / mhurtado@ohchr.org

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