US Condemns “Thuggery” Assault on Peaceful Protesters in Najaf

The US embassy in Baghdad has condemned the attack on peaceful protesters in Iraq’s southern city of Najaf which led to the killing and injuring of dozens of people, describing it brutal and reprehensible.

Earlier on Wednesday, followers of Iraq’s populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attacked sit-ins in Najaf and killed at least eight protesters and wounded more than 100.

“It is reprehensible that armed groups continue to be permitted to violate Iraq’s rule of law with impunity against peaceful citizens practicing their democratic right to freedom of expression, including demands for political and economic reform,” reads the statement by the US embassy.

“The Government of Iraq and its Security Forces have an obligation to put an end to this thuggery, which includes the kidnapping and assassination of civil activists and journalists, as well as beatings, use of live fire, and the burning of tents at peaceful demonstrations We call on the Iraqi government to put an end to these criminal practices and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The embassy called on the protesters to maintain the peaceful nature of their demonstrations while the have the right to express their demands freely. It also described the attack on the protesters as “murderous tactic”.

“The United States fully supports their fundamental democratic right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression,” the statement concluded. Source

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