July 14, 2020

The Iraqi prime minister promises to lower the salary to senior officials amid protests

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdelmahdi today announced a series of reforms, including reducing the salary of senior government officials by 50%, to try to placate the protests that shake Iraq since early October.

In a statement released today by the official Iraqi news agency, INA, the head of the government said that these reforms are in addition to those already approved by the cabinet, which for now have not deactivated the mobilizations in the streets, initiated last 25 October after a first outbreak at the beginning of the month.

Abdelmahdi admitted that the demonstrations have pressured political forces and judicial, legislative and executive authorities to "correct the way" and "accept changes", although protesters demand deep reforms throughout the power system, which they consider corrupt and sectarian. .

In the note, he also described the current protests as "the most prominent events in Iraq since 2003", when Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed after the US military intervention, beginning years of armed conflict and political instability whose consequences are still They make you feel today.

Abdelmahdi defended the blocking of internet access, which has taken place intermittently since October 1, when the network "is used to promote violence and hate, conspiracy against the nation and to hinder public life."

The NetBlocks platform, which monitors internet censorship, has documented that connectivity has been around 30% in Iraq in the past few days, coinciding with clashes in the streets and repression of protests, especially in Baghdad.

For its part, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights reported that security forces have launched tear gas and shooting into the air on Saturday to disperse protesters in different parts of the capital where they are concentrated and have repeatedly confronted the uniformed.

The NGO said that six people died in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protests, and Al Jilani Square, but this figure could not be independently verified.

Yesterday Friday the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva announced that it has documented the death of at least 269 people, in addition to 8,000 injured, in the protests in Iraq in the period between October 1 and November 7.

Both in the first week of October, and in the past two weeks, protesters have lashed out at corruption, sectarianism and the lack of public services and economic opportunities in Iraq, even in the oil-rich south.

(tagsToTranslate) Prime (t) Iraqi Minister (t) (t) promises (t) protests

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