Iraqi Protester Set Fire to Lawmaker’s House

Iraqi security forces confront demonstrators on Martyrs' Bridge (Jisr Al-Shuhada) in the capital Baghdad on November 7, 2019, amid ongoing anti-government protests. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images

Iraqi protesters burned down the home of Zainab Khazraji, a member of the Iraqi parliament, on Tuesday night. Local media reports said there was no apparent reason for targeting Khazraji and no political message was sent along with the vandalism.

Khazraji’s home is located in the Shatra district of Dhi Qar province, an area that has experienced a considerable amount of violence during the current wave of protests. Injuries and deaths have been reported among both protesters and security forces in Dhi Qar. It was also a hot spot for the previous round of protests against corruption and poor public services in 2018.

Arson was a feature of both the 2018 and current protests. The current protest movement has been accused of burning dozens of government buildings, political party facilities, and the Iranian consulate in Karbala. 

The protest movement has deemed the Iraqi political system corrupt and is calling for dramatic reforms to the political system along with the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and his entire government. Iran’s influence over Iraqi politics is also a major complaint.

Blocking roads is another major tactic of the movement. Protesters on Wednesday stormed a key bridge in central Baghdad and were repulsed by security forces using batons and tear gas. A medic attempting to assist injured demonstrators was killed during the confrontation.

Four protesters were shot and killed on Thursday when they tried to remove barriers deployed against their march on central Baghdad. 24 other protesters were injured during confrontations with security forces in Baghdad as they attempted to force their way into the Green Zone, the highly secured area where many government offices and foreign embassies are located.

The southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr was shut down, reopened, and then shut down again on Thursday by protesters who blocked the roads with barricades and burning tires.

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