Iraqi Journalists Targeted By Security Forces During Green Zone Protests
Last Friday demonstrators broke into Baghdad’s Green Zone a second time. Security forces were waiting for them – and the media, say local journalists who believe they were deliberately targeted by the military.
On Friday afternoon in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, thousands of protestors gathered – as has become their habit over the past few months. As was also usual they chanted their demands for political reform and anti-government slogans.
After an hour or so, the protestors decided to cross the Jumhuriyah bridge, near the square, and break into the highly protected Green Zone area, which houses Iraq’s government buildings and many foreign embassies, again.
Last time the protestors made it into the Green Zone and stayed for two days. However this time, security forces guarding the Green Zone did not let the protestors through. Instead they used tear gas and rubber bullets – even some live ammunition was used and it is estimated four people lost their lives – to disperse the protestors; the demonstrations ended around two hours later.
This time though, members of the local media who had accompanied the demonstrations were among the security forces’ victims. A statement from the Metro Centre for Defending Journalists’ Rights said more than 13 journalists were attacked while they were trying to cover the demonstrations.