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Results of Probe into Violence against Iraqi Protesters Expected Monday

Results of Probe into Violence against Iraqi Protesters Expected Monday

Sunday, 20 October, 2019 - 06:00
A protesters holds up the Iraqi flag during an anti-government demonstration in Baghdad on October 5, 2019. (Reuters)

A team tasked with probing violence against protesters in Iraq in recent weeks handed its report to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

A security official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the results of the report may be revealed on Monday.

On whether the probe had reached significant conclusions, he said: “The team worked professionally and obtained significant information about the attack against protesters.”

Anti-government rallies earlier this month were targeted by security forces and sniper fire.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had vowed on Friday to hold all those responsible for the violence to account.

“No one is above the law,” he said in an address on the Arbaeen religious commemoration in Iraq.

Security expert Saeed al-Jayashi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the probe, which was overseen by the PM and minister of planning, had dispatched investigation teams to each province that had witnessed demonstrations.

These teams submitted their reports to the main probe, which in turn compiled its own report that it will submit to Abdul Mahdi.

The report singles out the shortcomings and those responsible for them, he said.

Meanwhile, MP Abdullah al-Khraibet doubted, in remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, that the premier would be able to pinpoint exactly who was behind the violence.

However, head of the Iraqi center for media development, Adnan al-Sarraj said that the PM was in a “better position than he was before” because he acted quickly to form a probe and root out the cause of the unrest.

On whether the report will name those responsible for the unrest, he told Asharq Al-Awsat: “It depends on the identity of those who assaulted the protesters. The probe will be professional, not political, so it will likely analyze the cases that witnessed excessive use of force and point out to the existence of a fifth column.”

He also ruled out the possibility that the main instigator of the violence will be named and accused.

More than 100 people were killed and 6,000 injured in mass protests in Iraq in early October.

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