Iraq’s New Republic of Fear

By Renad Mansour, for Foreign Affairs. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

How Youthful Protests Provoked an Authoritarian Turn

On October 1, protesters flooded the streets of Baghdad, decrying high rates of unemployment and rampant corruption.

In the ensuing weeks, the protests ballooned. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis marched in the capital and in other cities in the south of the country.

As tensions mounted, government forces and paramilitary groups responded by killing over 300 people and wounding nearly 15,000 more.

Baghdad has been in a near-constant state of upheaval for the past month.

Government forces recently retook many plazas and bridges that had been occupied by the protesters, but the central Tahrir Square remains a hub for the popular uprising, replete with sound systems, medical tents, and even a free revolutionary newspaper.

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