U.S. Condemns Violence Against Protesters in Iraq: Human Rights Violators Must Be Held Accountable[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday condemned the bloody violence in Iraq, calling on the country's government to "exercise maximum restraint," the State Department said Tuesday.
The ministry said in a statement that Pompeo condemned during a contact with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi "the recent violence in Iraq, and noted that those who violate human rights must be held accountable."
"The minister regretted the tragic loss of life over the past few days and encouraged the Iraqi government to exercise maximum restraint," she said.
"Peaceful public demonstrations are an essential element in all democracies, and there is no place for violence in demonstrations, whether by security forces or protesters," pompeo said in a statement.
The Iraqi parliament on Tuesday held its first session after a week of anti-government protests that left dozens dead and triggered a political crisis that the country's president said needed a "national dialogue."
On Tuesday, Abdul Mahdi held marathon meetings with Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi, cabinet ministers, tribal leaders and the country's chief justice to discuss the protests, while his office confirmed in remarks that life "has returned to normal" after a week of bloody demonstrations.
The demonstrations began with demands to end the country's rampant corruption and chronic unemployment, but escalated into calls for a complete reform of the political system.
These demonstrations are unprecedented because they were spontaneous and independent in Iraqi society, but they were unexpectedly bloody, killing more than 100 people and injuring 6,000 in one week.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]