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Iraqi Communists condemn ‘repressive methods’ used against protesters

THE Iraqi Communist Party condemned “repressive methods” used against protesters amid growing unrest over a deepening economic crisis and shortages of electricity and water across the country.

Iraqis have taken to the streets and public squares in Basra, Baghdad, Babylon province, Maysan, Najaf, Nasiriyah, Kut and other areas to demonstrate against the central government’s failure to deal with shortages of essential goods.

But authorities have clamped down on dissent by shooting at the protesters with live bullets and arresting them.

The head of Bani Saad council called for Baghdad to deal with growing “popular anger” after desperate protesters stormed the municipal offices after a demonstration in the town centre today.

Rasul al-Husseini warned: “The demonstration was an expression of popular anger over the water and electricity crisis,” he said calling for action from the Iraqi government.

Mr Husseini called for “quick measures to contain the angry revolution in Bani Saad” and that “urgent solutions” were needed to stop the situation escalating.

Iraqi communists reaffirmed support for the “just and legitimate demands of the new wave of the protest movement and the masses of our people,” urging civil, democratic and national forces in Iraq to join the demonstrations.

“The powerful are fighting for what perpetuates their monopoly power and the people starve and suffer from poverty and disease,” the party blasted.

But it warned that the government must allow protesters the right to demonstrate, condemning the “repressive measures” taken against citizens which saw Saad Yaqub al-Mansouri shot dead and many other protesters injured.

“Our hearts are with our people and they live in the chapters of the tragedy in a country where oil revenues are increasing, without improving the standard of living and services for ordinary Iraqis,” the statement continued.

The party warned that the general situation and developments in Iraq underlined the importance of “starting the path of change and reform, rejecting the approach of sectarian and ethnic quotas and bringing about an efficient national alternative and a government capable of achieving tangible achievements for the people.”

The Iraqi Communist Party were part of the Sairoun coalition, an alliance with Islamist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr which topped the polls in May’s general election.

A manual recount is currently under way following allegations of electoral fraud and problems with the new electronic voting system.

It is not clear whether the recount will change the outcome of the election, but all parties have been urged to respect the result.

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