Three dead as Iraqi port blockaded

Umm Qasr Port Umm Qasr Port in Iraq has been disrupted by protests. Image: Wikimedia - CENTCOM - public domain

Civil unrest in Iraq has resulted in at least three casualties as the country tries to resume operations at a major port.

The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) has confirmed the deaths of the protesters, who are believed to have been taking part in protests against corruption, unemployment and poor public services, which has seen operations blocked at Umm Qasr Port.

According a statement from IHCHR on 4 November, the fatalities occurred when protestors tried to enter the Iranian Consulate. On 3 November, IHCHR stated that injuries had also occurred at the port.

“IHCHR and its monitoring teams followed events in Basra that led to clashes between security forces and protestors at Umm Qasr port and the fall of (120) injured people lying in Umm Qasr hospital due to the use of live bullets and tear gas by security forces directly towards the protestors,” the organisation commented.

The commission said it recognises the right to peaceful demonstration, but urged those taking part not to “endanger” public facilities and property.

It said that “the ports are the most important resources of the economy of the Iraqi people and damaging or suspending them will negatively affect all the rights of the Iraqi people and their livelihood, which requires full cooperation between the protestors and the security forces to protect the ports, which may have negative impact on not moving the ships towards Iraq due to the dangers posed to ports”.

The Commission also called on security forces to avoid using weapons.


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