Iraq Struggles to Contain Anti Government Protests

PM: People in Baghdad 'totally forbidden to move'

Violent crackdowns continued nationwide across Iraq on Thursday, with officials imposing more and more restrictions and demonstrations continuing to grow. At least 34 people are now confirmed killed, and over 1,500 others wounded.

One of Iraq’s first moves was to cut Internet access, and that continued into Tuesday. 70% of Internet into Iraq is blocked, and all major social media outlets are also being blocked, with officials believing they would fuel unrest.

What was initially seen as a temporary curfew in Baghdad is starting to look a bit more permanent as well, with Prime Minister  Adil Abdul Mahdi saying that “all vehicles and individuals are totally forbidden to move” in the capital.

The curfew has also been expanded into some nearby cities. Nasiriyah, Amara, and Hilla are all confirmed to be in a state of curfew for the time being as well.

Protesters have been rallying to complain about the endemic corruption in Iraq, as well as the poor economic recovery after the ISIS war. Previous promises by Abdul Mahdi were meant to end such protests, but after those previous promises ended up unfulfilled, the protests have gotten bigger and bigger.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.