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21 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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‘This is my sacrifice’: Thousands maimed in Iraq protests

AFP, Baghdad
‘This is my sacrifice’: Thousands maimed in Iraq protests
This file photo taken on Oct 4, Iraqi men trying to help a wounded protester during a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services, and unemployment, in the Iraqi capital Baghdad’s central Khellani Square. AFP Photo

A fractured spine, paralysed leg, hole in the back: Hamza took to the streets of Iraq’s capital to demand a better life but now he has even less than ever.

“This is my sacrifice for Iraq,” said the 16-year-old, his strained voice barely audible over the phone in Baghdad.

“If I could walk, I would be back in the protests now.”

Hamza is one of at least 3,000 people who have been maimed in Baghdad and southern Iraq since anti-government protests erupted on October 1, according to the NGO Iraqi Alliance for Disabilities Organisation (IADO).

The staggering number is the latest burden for a country already struggling with one of the highest disability rates in the world, according to the United Nations. After decades of back-to-back conflicts, Iraq is in the thick of its largest and deadliest grassroots protest movement, with more than 300 people dead and 15,000 wounded.

To disperse protesters, security forces have used tear gas, rubber bullets, flash bangs, live rounds and even machine-gun fire—all of which can seriously maim or even kill, as Hamza learned.

On November 4, the teenager was among around 20 protesters wounded by live fire in Baghdad.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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