Media release Iraqi Forum for Human Rights Organizations Condemns aggression used against families of victims of latest explosions in Baghdad

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Following last wave of terrorists explosions , which targeted several areas in Baghdad including Alsader city ,Al Shaab city, Albaladiat,Major Jamila market and Abu Gharib with toll of several dozens of killed and injured innocent people , a picket was established by group of victims’ families at Al-Tahrer square in center of Baghdad city .

The picket has reflected the sorrows and deep emotions of these families and majority of Iraqis and called upon authorities to play more active role in protecting civilian against endless explosions and killing by ISIS and other terrorist groups.

The picket was peaceful from the start and avoided any confrontation with security forces in the surrounding. Place chosen for the picket is the same used by regular Friday gathering of civil movement demanding real reform of political process.

Instead of understanding legitimate demands of those Brocken-heart families and try to listen to their demand, the picket was crashed by sudden attack by formal security personals with excessive force used including tear –gas and bullets with several casualties and arrest of some of those participated in picket.

This act of using excessive force was denounced and condemned by majority of Iraqis. It raises a lot of concerns regarding freedom of speech and right to protest and demonstrate peacefully ,particularly following similar event one week ago when such excessive force was used again against another peaceful demonstration demanding release of journalist “Afrah Shawqi” which was kidnapped around 10 days earlier.

We, in Iraqi Forum of Human Rights Organizations inside and outside Iraq, share the same concerns and denounce any use of any form of violence against peaceful protest and demonstration and any breach of people rights in freedom of speech.

We call upon authorities to open real investigation into what happened on that occasion with reprisal of those held accountable, release of those detained and compensate those injured or harmed during attack, and more importantly secure legitimate demands of protecting people.