A wave of demonstrations swept across central and southern Iraq, the heartland of the country’s Shiite majority, this week, the human rights group Amnesty International reported on Friday.
In southern Iraq, authorities shut off the internet while security forces used live ammunition and tear gas against people demonstrating about unemployment.
“They cut off the internet so they can beat us,” anonymous protesters told Amnesty International, which notes:
In the past week, witnesses in Basra governorate have reported to Amnesty that security forces have been using tear gas and live ammunition against peaceful protesters.
Trusted sources have told Amnesty they believe Internet access is being deliberately cut off to prevent protesters and human rights activists from disseminating images of the excessive force at the hands of the Iraqi security forces.