A member of the Iraqi High Commission For Human Rights (IHCHR) has said that 536 people have been killed during the anti-government protest movement, including seventeen members of the security forces.

Ali al-Bayati tweeted out the latest figures compiled by the rights monitor on Monday (February 3).

Iraqis have been taking to the streets of Baghdad and the southern provinces since October 1 to demand fundamental change to governance in Iraq, arguing that the current political establishment is irredeemably corrupt and should be swept away in early elections. They say that any new leaders must be committed to combating corruption, creating job opportunities, and improving public services.

In the face of these demands, the security forces and third-party armed groups have responded with live ammunition, sniper fire, abductions, and targeted killings. A particularly gruesome tactic has been the practice of firing military-grade tear gas canisters at the heads and torsos of protesters, resulting in what rights groups have called “horrific” injuries where the missiles penetrate the skull cavity.

Bayati said that an additional 23,545 people have been injured during the protests, including 3,519 members of the security forces.

A total of 2,713 people have been detained and 328 of those remain in custody. Seventy-two people have been abducted and 50 are still missing.

Twenty-two activists, journalists, and protesters have been assassinated, with an additional thirteen people wounded during attempts on their lives. Fourteen others escaped assassination attempts unscathed.

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