Baghdad, Dec 21 (IANS) At least 485 people have been killed and 27,000 others injured in the widespread anti-government protests that took place across Iraq since October, an official from a human rights watchdog said.
“The death toll since the beginning of the protests in October until now has reached 485, with and 27,000 injured reported from across all Iraqi provinces that witnessed demonstrations and sit-ins,” Ali al-Baiyati, a member of the Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights, told Xinhua news agency.
Mass demonstrations have continued in Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since early October, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more job opportunities.
Al-Baiyati said the total number of detainees from the demonstrators reached 2,807, with 107 of still under detention.
In addition, up to 48 demonstrators and civil society activists were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, he added.
Assassinations and kidnappings have increased recently in Iraq, especially among civil society activists who were participating in the anti-government demonstrations.
Earlier, the Iraqi Independent High Commission for Human Rights warned of the growing assassinations of civil activists in the capital Baghdad and other cities.
The Commission highlighted the need for efforts by the security services to stop the assassinations targeting unarmed citizens, arrest criminals and bring them to justice.