The United Nations (UN) Special Representative for Iraq, Jan Kubis, called on the Iraqi government to respect and address the legitimate concerns of demonstrators in the protest for the improvement of life conditions in the country. Kubis stated in his written statement that political actors in Iraq should give priority to the fight against corruption and reforms that would enable economic development, employment and fulfillment of important public services.
Kubis said he was deeply concerned about the violence and vandalism in the demonstrations launched to protest the disruptions in water and electricity services, unemployment and corruption in the state offices and noted that he was sad that both protesters and security forces had lost their lives and that many people were injured and that public and private property had been destroyed.
Emphasizing that indispensable rights such as freedom of expression should be respected, Kubis urged Iraqi security forces to respect the legitimate concerns of demonstrators in the protest against the Iraqi government and to avoid using excessive force.
The demonstrations that began on Sunday, July 8, in the southern province of Basra, which supplies most of Iraq’s crude oil exports, spread to Zikar, Babylon, Meysan, Divaniyye, Najaf and finally the capital Baghdad.
Demonstrations demanding improved living conditions, protests in water and electricity services, unemployment and corruption in government offices continue.
Six people lost their lives and dozens have been injured in the demonstrations.