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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Iraqi PM sacks commander of forces filmed assaulting young protester

chouchou
chouchou
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Prime - Iraqi PM sacks commander of forces filmed assaulting young protester Empty Iraqi PM sacks commander of forces filmed assaulting young protester

Post by chouchou on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 7:42 am

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Interior made an announced early Sunday addressing a video widely circulated on social media that showed "unprofessional and unethical" treatment of a teenager by several security force members. The ministry also said that the commander of the unit in charge of the officers involved in the incident had been removed from his post.

The statement came after Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered an investigation into the video, filmed during the era of former Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.

It shows several officers surrounding a teenager who has been stripped bare while an officer shaves the teen’s head with a sharp object. In the background of the recording, security personnel are heard hurling insults and otherwise verbally abusing the boy, who is surrounded by full-grown men in military fatigues.
Kurdistan 24 could not verify the authenticity or exact date of recording.

The teen appeared in a later video clip, lying on a hospital bed and receiving first aid from injuries he had sustained, apparently shortly after the incident. The victim said that security personnel had "dragged him in the street" and "tortured him."

This is not the first recent instance of such an incident in the country. On other occasions, members of various security forces have treated those in their custody in similarly humiliating ways. Activists say that the teenager who appeared in the video is one of the participants in the recent resurgence of protests, but the Ministry of Interior said that he had been arrested on charges of theft.


"The person who appeared in the video and was violated was arrested at the Directorate of Anti-Crime of Baghdad… for stealing a motorbike," the Interior Ministry statement wrote. "The incident of the assault by law enforcement officers took place about 20 days before the date of his arrest."

The ministry added that the teen lodged a complaint "against those who carried out this heinous, unprofessional, and unethical act."

The statement also indicated that officials had uncovered "the identity of the perpetrators of this criminal act" and had begun "procedures for arresting them to complete the investigation" into the affair. It also confirmed that Prime Minister Kadhimi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, had ordered the dismissal of the head of the law enforcement division.

Kadhimi [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] on Friday his intention to hold early national elections in the summer of 2021, one of the main demands of those taking part in the massive and sustained protest movement that has been raging since October. The parliament contended the premier’s decision later that day, but the viability of a vote in favor of the proposal has yet to be settled.

Over the past week, Iraqis again took to the streets to demand, among other things, an improved standard of living and improved public services, especially electricity in the sweltering summer heat as temperatures in many parts of the country top 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

On July 26, a confrontation between Iraqi security forces and protesters near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the main hub of demonstrations since last year, led to the deaths of two demonstrators and injury of roughly a dozen others.

The Ministry of Interior on Thursday released a statement on the killings. It said that, based on eyewitness and forensic reports, "the investigation concluded that the two protestors were killed by pellets from personal hunting rifles, fired by three members of the security forces."

"The investigation judge has ordered the arrest of the three" security personnel. The ministry noted that federal police forces stationed at the protests had fired live rounds in the air to disperse the demonstrations, against the direct orders of the prime minister.

It added that the ministry had "formed a committee to identify and to hold to account those who acted negligently in this matter and to refer them to the judiciary."

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chouchou
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Prime - Iraqi PM sacks commander of forces filmed assaulting young protester Empty Iraq's prime minister takes action on video of officers beating teenager

Post by chouchou on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 7:43 am

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi ordered disciplinary action against the chief of a security force whose members appeared in a widely shared online video taunting a teenager whose chest was covered in bruises.

The video showed three members of the Interior Ministry’s Law Preservation Forces – set up to handle protests – standing around a boy in a chair in his underwear. They cursed his mother and threatened the teenager with sexual assault as one of them cut the boy's hair with a blade.

Local media said the teenager was one of dozens of civilians detained for joining anti-government protests.

Another video, apparently shot later, showed the youth receiving treatment at what appeared to be a makeshift clinic typical of those set up by demonstrators who have been on the streets since October demanding political change. The youth said he was “standing in water” when the three officers came for him.

“One of them grabbed me by the throat and took me,” he said.

The Law Preservation Forces were formed by former prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi as the Iraqi uprising broke out in October last year. It comprises officers from the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Response units and other agencies.

The videos were shared in recent days, but the Iraqi Interior Ministry said on Sunday that the assault took place in April and that work was being done to arrest the officers concerned.

Mr Al Kadhimi on Sunday ordered the head of Law Preservation Forces, Gen Saad Khalaf, to be confined to his headquarters and the force be “re-examined as a formation”, state media said.

Since the protests against unemployment, lack of basic services and corruption began, more than 500 demonstrators have been killed by security forces or Iran-backed government-sanctioned Iraqi militias.

Dozens of other activists, leading figures and those taking part in demonstrations have been kidnapped or disappeared. Last month, security analyst and informal government adviser Hisham Al Hashimi was murdered outside his home after receiving death threats from Iran-backed militias.

The videos showing the abuse of the teen were held up by activists as evidence of the torture that human rights campaigners said was regularly meted out with impunity by Iraq’s security services.

Mr Al Kadhimi, a reformer who took office in May, has promised change and accountability in an effort to ease anger on the streets and he has promised to investigate the killings and abuses of demonstrators. But analysts worried that the former intelligence agency head, who has no support base of his own, will be unable to significantly curtail the powerful armed militias.

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