BAGHDAD (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross is increasingly concerned by the deterioration of the security situation in Basra.
The deaths of civilians and the growing number of casualties at the ongoing demonstrations is particularly worrying, as is the use of firearms for restoring public order.
"The use of force is an exceptional measure that must be proportionate to the situation," said the ICRC's head of delegation in Iraq, Katharina Ritz. "In particular, firearms and live ammunition must only be used as a last resort by security forces, and to protect against an imminent threat to life."
The ICRC is following developments with teams on the ground based in its Basra office, and is aware of the aggravated water supply situation during the sweltering summer months.
The ICRC teams are also in contact with the concerned health authorities and supplied Al-Sadr Teaching Hospital in Basra with kits to treat injured persons. Moreover, in relation to the water-related concerns, a contingency stock of IV fluids was made available to support the Basra health authorities upon request.
Over the course of the year, the ICRC has rehabilitated both water and waste water treatment plants in the southern governorates, and is also purchasing supplies of chlorine in order to help with the provision of safe drinking water.
The ICRC continues to monitor the situation closely and calls for restraint.
For further information, please contact:
Nagham Awada: +964 790 191 6927
James Matthews (English only): +964 780 928 4021