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UN, Amnesty Urge Iraq Inquiry Into Use of Force Against Protesters

  • Reuters

Mourners carry the coffins of two people, killed in protests at Baghdad's International Zone on Friday, during their funeral procession at the holy shrine of Imam Ali, in Najaf, 160 kilometers south of Baghdad, Iraq, May 21, 2016.

Mourners carry the coffins of two people, killed in protests at Baghdad's International Zone on Friday, during their funeral procession at the holy shrine of Imam Ali, in Najaf, 160 kilometers south of Baghdad, Iraq, May 21, 2016.

The United Nations and Amnesty International on Tuesday urged Iraq's government to open an inquiry into the use of deadly force against protesters who broke into the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad last Friday.

"We urge the Iraqi Government to immediately conduct an independent, transparent and effective investigation into the use of force by security forces against protesters," said UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville in a Geneva briefing.

"Amnesty International is concerned that security forces used force recklessly," the group said in a statement. "Anyone suspected of arbitrary or abusive use of force should be prosecuted in a fair trial."

Friday's demonstrations included supporters of powerful Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as well as people from other groups upset over the government's failure to approve anti-corruption reforms and maintain security in the city.

Sources from four hospitals and Baghdad's central morgue said four protesters were killed and 90 injured by gunshot wounds in the zone which houses parliament, government offices and embassies.

The Iraqi government reported two deaths and denied the use of live ammunition against the protesters.

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