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3D Reconstruction Shows Iraqi Security Forces Deliberately Killed Protesters: Amnesty International

An exclusive new visual investigation by Amnesty International and SITU Research shows that Iraqi security forces intended to kill or severely maim dozens of protesters when they fired military-style grenades directly into crowds on the streets of Baghdad from last October onwards.

The organizations’ interactive website, Smokescreen – Iraq’s use of military-grade tear gas grenades to kill protesters, includes a 3D reconstruction of deadly incidents captured on video around the capital’s Tahrir Square and Jimhouriya Bridge. The distinctive grenades are known to have mortally wounded at least two dozen protesters in that area since October 2019.

Overwhelming evidence points to a pattern of Iraq’s security forces deliberately using these heavy tear gas and smoke grenades to kill, rather than disperse, protesters, in direct violation of international human rights law

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Brian Castner
Senior Crisis Adviser on Arms and Military Operations at Amnesty International

Ballistics simulations and spatial analysis presented on the Smokescreen website show how the projectiles were fired to kill or cause serious bodily harm.

“Overwhelming evidence points to a pattern of Iraq’s security forces deliberately using these heavy tear gas and smoke grenades to kill, rather than disperse, protesters, in direct violation of international human rights law,” said Brian Castner, Senior Crisis Adviser on Arms and Military Operations at Amnesty International.

“The videos analyzed for this report clearly show a pattern of abuse and lethal use of force against Iraqi civilians. It is critical to analyze these weapons in relation to the urban spaces in which they are deployed – this visual investigation tracks the performance of the weapon in relation to the streets, plazas and spaces of assembly where so many have been killed,”

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Brad Samuels
Founding Partner of SITU Research

“The security forces knew how deadly these abhorrent weapons were, but continued to fire at will, leading to a string of at least two dozen gruesome fatalities.”

“The videos analyzed for this report clearly show a pattern of abuse and lethal use of force against Iraqi civilians. It is critical to analyze these weapons in relation to the urban spaces in which they are deployed – this visual investigation tracks the performance of the weapon in relation to the streets, plazas and spaces of assembly where so many have been killed. Brad Samuels, Founding Partner of SITU Research

Deadly design

According to a press release by Amnesty International, the new analysis builds on an earlier Amnesty International investigation that was the first to identify the distinctive grenades – sometimes nicknamed ‘smokers’ by protesters – as two types based on high-explosive military grenades designed for combat. These include M99 grenades made by Serbian manufacturer Sloboda Ĉaĉak as well as M651 tear gas grenades and M713 smoke grenades manufactured by the Defense Industries Organization (DIO) of Iran. Independent weapon investigators later corroborated this.


The communique further says, weighing around 250 grams, these grenades are up to 10 times heavier than standard tear gas canisters. However, they are fired at roughly the same muzzle velocity – the speed at which they leave the grenade launcher – meaning they have significantly more force upon impact, especially when fired at a low angle.

Such force resulted in horrific casualties as heavy metal slugs pierced protesters’ skulls and bodies, with smoke often still billowing from the open wounds. The fatalities were among the most graphic ever seen by the experienced Amnesty International investigators verifying the videos.

SITU Research used a digital model to simulate firing one of the grenades into ballistic gelatin – analysis commonly used by weapons and forensics experts to test the type and severity of wounds caused by bullets and other projectiles. The grenade had a remarkably similar impact on the gelatin as a 12-gauge shotgun slug specifically designed for hunting. In other words, when fired directly at a target at a low angle, the so-called “less lethal” grenades are every bit as deadly as heavy ammunition that is expressly designed to kill.

Intent to kill, not disperse

Reviewing verified eyewitness video from the scene, Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence Lab and SITU Research pieced together how Iraqi security forces deployed these weapons. 

In multiple videos taken from different vantage points on or near the Jimhouriya Bridge, masked security forces at barricades and on a patrol boat can be seen firing the grenades at a low angle directly towards a crowd of protesters nearby. In other footage, the grenades can be seen whizzing past the protesters’ heads at high velocity.

Through reviewing eyewitness video as well as gathering testimonies from protesters and medical workers, Amnesty International has documented more than two dozen deaths caused by these heavy grenades since the protests began in October. Since the research relied on verifying available video evidence and corroborating with testimony on the ground, the real number may be much higher.

Disturbingly, following a lull in their use in late November and December, images emerged showing fresh use of the grenades in January and February 2020.

Excessive use of force

Since 1 October 2019, throughout the protests in Baghdad and southern Iraqi governorates, Amnesty International has documented security forces using excessive – and, in hundreds of cases, lethal – force to disperse protesters in a variety of other ways. This includes masked gunmen and snipers using live ammunition, hunting rifles and shotguns firing pellets and birdshot, batons used to mete out severe beatings and a host of other instances of inappropriate and unlawful weapon use.

“This new analysis just reinforces our belief that these munitions have no legitimate use in policing demonstrations,”

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Brian Castner

Founding Partner of SITU Research

Despite this widespread, arbitrary use of force, including hundreds of killings , virtually nothing has been done to hold the Iraqi security forces to account.

“This new analysis just reinforces our belief that these munitions have no legitimate use in policing demonstrations. The Iraqi authorities must recall these grenades from use immediately, and there must be independent and impartial investigations into their use and into the wider pattern of violations that resulted in hundreds of killings and thousands of injuries during the protests,” said Brian Castner.

Easter of Charity for Christians and Muslims Even in the Area Still Controlled by Jihadists

In the Oronte valley, in the three villages Knaye, Yacoubieh and Gidaideh – about 50 km from Idlib – hundreds of Christians are still there together with priests Hanna Jallouf and Luai Bsciarat, both Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land, who remained to carry out the pastoral work in that territory still subject to the domination of the jihadist militants of Tahrir al Sham, opponents of the Syrian government. In the last few days, the military conflict in the area has taken on a level of semi-truce, both because of the precautions taken by the various parties involved to avoid contagion from Covid-19, and above all because of the ceasefire agreement negotiated at the beginning of March between Russia and Turkey, forces that in the field of conflict support respectively the Syrian government army and the anti-Assad militias
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Smart Thermometer Shows Fevers Dropping in Areas with Sheltering Measur

the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, one sign that social distancing measures may be working is that people’s temperatures – a symptom of the virus – are dropping in some cities in the U.S., according to a smart thermometer company. The data could give health officials an early look into how the virus is progressing
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Robot Waiters Speak and Serve Food at this Restaurant

Collaborative robots known as “cobots” are becoming big business. Restaurants in the U.S. and in countries around the world are using robots at restaurants. According to BIS Research, in 2018, the cobot market registered a revenue of $580.8 million and is projected to reach $9.13 billion by 2024
Read More

COVID 19 South Sudan Preparedness

South Sudan on Sunday announced its first confirmed coronavirus infection, a United Nations staff member, becoming one the last African countries to confirm the virus. But, years of civil war and low funding have left the world’s youngest nation with a fragile healthcare system, raising fears that the virus – if left unchecked – could quickly spread
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Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus: 
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes ,organizations or individual.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources  then it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on social media messages that the lockdown will last for more than 3 months. Check any related information only on Government Web Portals and social media platforms of various Government Agencies.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred 

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic information write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com

Read the COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

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