Crackdown on protests in Iraq

Essam al-Sudani/Reuters

By THOMAS REICH | JUL 24, 2018

According to Human Rights Watch, Iraqi security forces used excessive and even lethal force in a series of eight protests in the city of Basra from July 8 to 17.

In six of the eight protests, authorities shot at the protesters.

At least three protesters were killed and 47 more were injured, including 29 during and after arrest.

Three children were even injured; two were shot, and one was beaten with a rifle.

Since July 14, internet access across central and south Iraq has been restricted by the government.

So, what were the protesters demanding?

Three simple things: improved access to desalinated water, the government to address high rates of unemployment in the oil industry, and increased access to electricity for the hot summer months.

Clean water, relief, and electricity.

For those three simple things, almost fifty people were shot and beat, and three people were murdered in cold blood.

As bad as the problems in the US are, when we read stories like these, we should be extremely thankful. In America, when citizens demand policies that the rest of the industrial world has, the government ignores them. In Iraq, when citizens demand basic necessities, the government kills them.