Sunday, September 19, 2021

Iraqi protesters demand transparency after killings of activists

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Hundreds of Iraqis have protested in central Baghdad to demand that authorities hold accountable the killers of dozens of activists associated with a long-running protest movement.

More than 70 activists have been targeted in assassinations, attempted murders and abductions since a pro-democracy protest movement erupted against government corruption and incompetence in 2019.

Dozens also turned out in the southern city of Nasiriya where tensions have been running high following a hospital fire that killed at least 60 people last week.

Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi announced the arrest of four suspects in the point-blank shooting of prominent academic and government adviser Hisham al-Hashemi a year ago.

Iraq has been a battleground for influence between arch-foes Washington and Tehran, which has backed paramilitaries and politicians.