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Iraqi Protests Continue into a Second Week
Posted on: Friday, March 4, 2011
For the second Friday in a row, thousands of people took to the streets in Baghdad, Basra and other cities across Iraq. Despite a ban on vehicles in Baghdad, many walked for hours to join the protests.
When Yanar Mohammed, director of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) and one of MADRE’s partners, wrote to us just days ago about the first wave of protests, she said, “For the first time in eight years, the demonstration united people of different religions, ethnicities, sects, and political affiliations to denounce the extreme and continuous corruption and demand a share for the people in the countries resources from oil.”
Yanar witnessed the violence that erupted last Friday when Iraqi security forces turned on the protestors. She said, “The security trucks began to drive down the square to chase and shoot us with live bullets, and beat up many of the demonstrators who fled into the alleys surrounding Al Tahrir square. One of our male supporters was shot in the knee, while two others were beaten by the US-trained anti-riot police and the Iraqi army. Almost 20 people were shot in that day around the square, although the announced numbers were much less. Some died while the wounded were detained.”
This week, we heard reports of police using water cannons to attack protestors and beating people with batons when they refused to end their protests.