Statement by the Spokesperson on the situation in Iraq
The latest spiralling of violence across Iraq and in particular in the cities of Nassiriya and Najaf has resulted in more than 40 casualties over the last 24 hours, as well as serious damage, including to diplomatic property.
The use of live ammunition by security forces against demonstrators is unacceptable and those responsible must be held accountable.
It is crucial that there is an end to the violence that, since the start of the unrests in October, has resulted in over 400 deaths and about 15,000 injured.
The latest decision of the Communications and Media Commission to suspend the license of several television channels for their coverage of the protests restricts the freedom of press and freedom of expression and is incompatible with basic democratic principles.
Inclusive dialogue between protesters and the government is the only way out of this crisis and we fully support the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq in that regard.