Shafaq News / Al-Nakheel Center for Rights and Press Freedoms urged Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani on Tuesday to fulfill "his commitment" by announcing the findings of the investigation into the events that unfolded during the October 2019 protests.
In a statement, the center remarked, "On this day, the fourth annual commemoration of the Zaitoun Bridge massacre in Dhi Qar province during the October protests, where dozens of martyrs and wounded fell victim to the worst wave of violence witnessed during the demonstrations, we recall with deep pain."
The center "reminded" al-Sudani "of his self-imposed obligation to announce the investigation results into the protest events, the killing of protesters, and journalists before the end of the current year 2023," expressing hope that the investigation's outcomes would be fair and hold all involved parties accountable for the occurrences during that period.
The Zaitoun Bridge massacre refers to a series of systematic killings targeting Iraqi protesters in the city of Nasiriyah, the center of Dhi Qar province, between November 28-30, 2019, following the burning of the Iranian consulate in Najaf just a day prior.
The toll of this atrocity amounted to around 70 fatalities and over 225 injuries on November 28, while 15 protesters were killed, and 157 others wounded on November 30. This massacre led to the dismissal of General Jameel Al-Shamri from heading the Crisis Cell responsible for addressing the situations in the southern provinces.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced his intention to resign to the Parliament on November 29, 2019. On the same day, Governor Adel Al-Dakhili and the Police Chief of Dhi Qar, Mohammed Zaidan Al-Qureshi, both resigned. Al-Qureshi ordered the withdrawal of all security forces to their headquarters and banned the use of live ammunition before his resignation. However, these resignations did not calm the protesters as killings continued in Nasiriyah and Najaf.
Consequently, the Iraqi Parliament agreed on December 1 to dismiss Abdul Mahdi, who had submitted his resignation to the Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi on November 30, 2019.