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Iraqi security services monitor phones, say activists

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | October 12, 2019
Iraq street
Asia   Iraq street

With more than 100 dead and 6,000 wounded in almost two weeks of protests in Iraq, anger has been mounting at the security services' heavy-handed approach.

Topics: Iraq security

In Baghdad and southern Iraq, armed groups have been stopping youths at checkpoints and in the streets, asking to check their phones and arresting them if they find any photos or footage related or referring to the protests.

One prominent social media activist based in the city of Nasiriyah, Yousif al-Hashimi, told Middle East Eye that he had witnessed Iraqi security forces stopping three youths and forcefully asking them to give them their phones.

“It was an attempt to arrest anyone who has photos or videos on the phone," Hashimi said.

He added that two were arrested and one was released after what he described as a "clear violation" of their personal property.

Another protester based in Baghdad and who preferred to be anonymous told MEE he had faced similar treatment.

“The Iraqi security forces in several of Baghdad’s districts like Dora, Sadr and Shula have stopped people randomly and inspect their phones. They delete the contents and arrest the owner of the phone."

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