On Thursday, December 8, 2022, Iraqi security forces shot and killed two protesters in the southern city of Nassiriya after using live ammunition to disperse an anti-government protest.
At least 16 other protesters were also wounded when security forces attempted to move them away from bridges and a central square.
Around 300 people took part in the demonstration, which was called to protest against the recent political arrests that targeted activists in Nassiriya city.
The deadly incident came just a few days after a Baghdad court sentenced the activist Haider al-Zaidi to three years in prison, after being convicted of insulting the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an umbrella group of mostly Shiite paramilitary groups involved in many human rights violations.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, which are essential components of democracy. The right of peaceful assembly includes the right to hold meetings, sit-ins, strikes, rallies, events or protests, both offline and online.