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UN urges Iraq to investigate protest deaths 'transparently'
A man in Baghdad assisting a wounded demonstrator [Alaa al-Marjani/Reuters]
DAILYNEWS The United Nations called on Iraq to rapidly and transparently investigate force used by anti-riot police in clashes with protesters that have left dozens dead.
"We call on the Iraqi government to allow people to freely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly," Marta Hurtado, spokeswoman for the UN rights office, told journalists in Geneva.
"We are worried by reports that security forces have used live ammunition and rubber bullets in some areas, and have also fired tear gas canisters directly at protesters," Hurtado said, insisting that in dealing with demonstrations, "the use of force should be exceptional".

"Any use of force must comply with applicable international human rights norms and standards," she said, stressing that firearms should never be used "except as a last resort to protect against an imminent threat of death or serious injury."

"All incidents in which the actions of security forces have resulted in death and injury should be promptly, independently and transparently investigated," she said.
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