Citizens and Politicians Await Results Of Protest Investigation Committee


Following the deaths of protesters during the recent demonstrations in Iraq, an investigation has been ongoing to find out who was responsible.

The fact-finding investigation launched on the directive of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Adil Abd al-Mahdi, following the killings committed during the October protests, is being followed closely by the public, as general discontent towards the central government has been growing.

The fact-finding committee announced that the total number of civilians that were killed during the protests is 149, while the number of people injured was 4,207, as well as 8 individuals killed among the ranks of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

Although no concrete steps have yet been taken, the committee has recommended that 52 senior ISF generals be dismissed.

Following the announcement, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights released a statement saying that the final report was “disappointing and has shied away from some truths”.

This statement reflects general attitudes amongst many in the public who criticised the report for failing to mention the role that some militias and non-state armed actors played in supressing the protests.

As expected, many activists have rejected the findings of the committee and accused it of trying to cushion public anger, without providing any real answers.

Before the investigation, over 60 Iraqi officials were already sacked due to the outbreak of the protests. A number of high-ranking ministers, including the Ministers of Health and Education, have already been replaced.

Protests are expected to resume across Iraq on Friday 25 October following the end of Arbaeen, during which protests have been put to a halt. Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has prompted the resumption of peace protests, following his support for the demonstrations that took place this month. Protests have concentrated in Baghdad and the southern regions of Iraq. Thus far the protests have nevertheless lacked clear leadership and grievances have been expressed without a concrete plan. The main grievances raised have been unemployment, lack of provision of basic services, including electricity and water, and government corruption.