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Militias abduct Iraqi activists in attempt to stifle protests

Hundreds of Iraqi activists have been abducted by unidentified forces trying to put an end to the ongoing protests.
A man carries a picture of a demonstrator who was killed during ongoing anti-government protests, as other demonstrators block the street in Najaf, Iraq December 23, 2019. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani - RC2W0E9FX81T
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Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, on Dec. 13 condemned the kidnappings of Iraqi activists and demonstrators in protest squares and stressed the need for weapons to be under the control of the Iraqi state.

A day earlier, the US Embassy in Baghdad had issued a statement condemning the kidnappings, and Amnesty International called on the Iraqi government to assume its responsibilities and take immediate and effective steps to stop the intimidation of activists.

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