Christian Teenager Killed in Iraq Protests
24 Other Protesters Wounded in Tahrir Square Violence
02/27/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a 15-year-old Assyrian Christian named Rimon was killed by Iraqi security forces while protesting in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, February 25. Rimon was targeted and killed with a hunting rifle. Twenty-four other protesters were also wounded during the violence from gunshots and teargas.
Following this incident, the Iraqi Christian community is mourning the loss of one of its members. “Protesting in Baghdad took a lot of souls. Rimon was among them, and he was only 15 years old,” a local Christian woman told ICC. “I cannot imagine how sad Rimon’s parents are. Every day we are losing lots of souls; someone needs to do something to stop this massacre,” another Christian protester added.
A local shop owner near the protests said, “Targeting protesters by hunting guns is a crime. No one helps Iraqi citizens.”
Rimon’s mentor at his church commented, “All he did was seeking a better future.” A fellow church member echoed, “I am so sad for Rimon and his parents. He was there to ask for a better life. It could have been me instead of him. Actually, it could have been any of us there.”
Tuesday’s violence comes nearly 150 days after the protests first began. Reports indicate that over 600 Iraqis have been killed since October 1, protesting government corruption, high unemployment, insufficient public services, and foreign interference. The protests were originally ignited over the removal of Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi as commander of counterterrorism forces. His widespread popularity after his leadership in defeating ISIS sparked demonstrations that have grown in both size and intensity.
ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, Claire Evans, commented, “We pray for the family of Rimon and for peace to come to a region that has seen increased violence toward Christians. We praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”