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Fact-Finding Committee to Investigate Iraqi Protests

Fact-Finding Committee to Investigate Iraqi Protests

Tuesday, 20 October, 2020 - 06:00
A protester waves the national flag during clashes with security forces in central Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi formed on Sunday a fact-finding committee to investigate the bloody events and the killing of demonstrators in anti-government protests that emerged across the country one year ago.

More than 500 protesters were shot dead by security forces and gunmen suspected of links to militias during protests calling for change late in 2019. Thousands of others were injured.

Kadhimi confirmed that whoever was involved in any crime will be brought to justice.

"The formation of this committee represents the rebirth of the values of the state that seeks justice and fairness,” he said during his meeting with members of the fact-finding committee formed to investigate the events of October of last year.

The fact-finding committee includes five retired judges, backed by several investigators and experts.

Kadhimi’s advisor Hisham Daoud said the judges were chosen based on integrity, experience and professionalism. He said the judges were not influenced by any party whatsoever, and that they will investigate the events objectively, and the necessary protection will be provided to them independently and professionally.

Asked about the time that the committee needs to announce the outcomes of its investigation, he said it is difficult for the executive authority to impose on the judicial authority a time limit to search for the truth.

Activist Moussa Rahmallah told Asharq Al-Awsat that the committee needs at least three years to end its work.

“In principle, establishing the committee is something good, however, the problem is with the measures that follow and the timetable for announcing the outcome of the investigation,” he said.

Rahmallah added that activists are preparing for a massive demonstration to celebrate the first anniversary of the October intifada.

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