Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Michael T. McCaul, the Committee’s Ranking Member, today issued the following statement on protests in Iraq, where violence has left over 100 dead and thousands wounded:

“We urge the government of Iraq to respect the fundamental right of the Iraqi people to freely assemble and peacefully protest. Use of force against protestors is unacceptable, and there must be accountability for those who have engaged in violence. Additionally, access to the internet and social media must remain available for the people of Iraq.

“It is critical that the Iraqi government makes sure that all political parties, ethnic groups, and sects are able to live peacefully alongside one another in a strong, sovereign, and prosperous Iraq.

“We urge the State Department to continue its critical work to support the development of inclusive and democratic institutions, and to evaluate whether additional support is necessary to succeed in these goals.”

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