Iraqi prime minister releases anti-government protesters

Photo of Mustafa Al-Kadhimi via Prime Minister’s Information Office Twitter.

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:20 PM PT — Sunday, May 10, 2020

The newly appointed prime minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, carried out one of the first decisions of his administration this week. On Sunday, the country’s judiciary ordered a release of all anti-government protesters who did not partake in violence.

This came after dozens burned tires in renewed protests against the new leadership.

Protests began back in October, when thousands of citizens denounced government corruption and demanded officials to be held accountable.

Protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails towards riot police, who responded with rocks and stun grenades. Authorities also used fire and tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Anti-government protesters burn tires in front of barriers set up by security forces to close the Jumhuriyah Bridge leading to the Green Zone government area, during ongoing protests in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, May 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

According to human rights groups, at least 600 people died in the following three months of clashes. Protesters also took a hit when the coronavirus outbreak began, but dozens are still camped out in the capitol in hopes of continuing the movement.

“We are steadfast and will go on protesting, but we don’t want to have more bloodshed, we don’t want more martyrs,” stated one resident. “We hope that the youths protesting here will not commit mistakes that others will blame us for.”

The council released detainees based on an article of the country’s constitution, which guarantees the right to protest as long as citizens do not break the law.

Anti-government protesters stage a sit-in on barriers set up by security forces to close the Jumhuriyah Bridge leading to the Green Zone government area, during ongoing protests in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, May 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Alkadhimi has stated his administration’s top priorities will be the coronavirus pandemic and holding those who took citizens’ lives accountable.

READ MORE: Iraqi Parliament Approves New Government

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