Tuesday, November 12, 2019

New Clashes In South Iraq As Another Activist Disappears In Baghdad

Basra (Al Mirbad)


There were new clashes between demonstrators and the security forces (ISF) in southern Iraq. That centered around Basra where people tried to return to the city after the sit in site was broken up by the authorities as well as Nasiriya where there was a  confrontation outside government offices for the second day. Finally, in Baghdad another activist has gone missing.

On November 11, the major actions took place in the south. After a week of trying the security forces cleared out the protesters from Um Qasr port and Basra city. People have tried to return to the center of the city, but Sunday saw the largest effort so far. Thousands showed up adjacent to the square and tried to set up tents once more, but were met by the security forces. For the second day, people gathered outside the education directorate in Nasiriya. The day before four people were killed there by the ISF. The anger boiled over and a crowd then tried to storm a local police headquarters. By the end of the day two more had lost their lives. Finally, in Maysan people gathered outside the education offices s well. Ending the Basra protests was the first real success of the government to curtail the ongoing unrest. Simply destroying the camps however has not ended the determination of the activists as seen by their continued attempts to return to central Basra. Outside of Baghdad, Dhi Qar has also seen the most clashes with the security forces. Most of that has happened in the Shatrah district, but the events in Nasiriya show that the anger in the province is widespread, especially when the ISF opens fire.

The news out of Baghdad was bad gain as another activist disappeared. Mary Mohammed was last seen four days ago. This is just the latest in mysterious detentions and assassinations that have occurred amongst the demonstrators. Sabi al-Mahdawi was abducted about a week ago. Ali Hashim was killed, and Mushtaq al-Azzawi escaped an attempt on his life. Similar tactics were used last year against demonstrators by the security forces. That lasted for months after the protests ended. That will likely occur again this year showing that the authorities seek to eliminate and intimidate activists in an attempt to silence dissent. It is another sign that Iraqi democracy is dying.

SOURCES

Al Ghad Press, “9 demonstrators get killed by live bullets while trying to storm the headquarters of a security regiment in Dhi Qar,” 11/11/19
- “In pictures .. Maysan demonstrators and students besieged the building of the Directorate of Education and declare civil disobedience,” 11/11/19
- “Military force prevents a student march from reaching the demonstration square in Basra,” 11/11/19

Iraq Newspaper, “Students break into anti-riot regiment and release detainees in Dhi Qar,” 11/11/19

Lebanon Files, “Demonstrators in the Iraqi city of Basra re-erect tents in front of the governorate building,” Twitter, 11/11/19

Al Mirbad, “Our correspondent: Thousands of protesters are in the navy yard in Basra,” 11/11/19

News of Iraq, “Two demonstrators killed and 18 injured in demonstrations on Monday in Dhi Qar province,” Twitter, 11/11/19

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Four Protesters Killed In Fresh Unrest In Iraq,” 11/11/19

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