November 9, 2019
In an update to a previous report, Amnesty International has said that “a significant portion of the deadly projectiles” used against protesters in Iraq are smoke and tear gas grenades “manufactured by the Defense Industries Organization (DIO) of Iran.”
Amnesty had reported on October 31 that Serbian-made projectiles were responsible for causing many deaths among protesters. On November 7, the international rights organization issued the update, saying that after reviewing video and photo evidence it has concluded that Iranian made projectiles are also deadly and these have been tied to clear cases of deaths.
The news update, however, says, “Amnesty International does not have information on the identities of the security forces firing these Iranian M651 and M713 grenades in Baghdad.”
The organization calls for immediately stopping the use of the deadly grenades. “There should be an independent, impartial and transparent investigation into their use and into other cases of unlawful killings and injuries during the protests, with any security forces responsible for excessive use of force held to account”, Amnesty International says.
Close to 200 people have been killed in the Iraqi protests, which began in early October and almost immediately were met with deadly force. There have reports of Iranian-backed Iraqi militias having taken part in using deadly force against unarmed protesters, who have increasingly directed their anger against the Islamic Republic.
Iran has also tried hard to prevent the resignation of the government and major political change demanded by disenfranchised, mostly young people who demand jobs and an end to corruption by the political elite.