Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson We are outraged by the targeted assassinations of civil society activists and attacks on protesters in Basrah and Baghdad. It is unconscionable that the perpetrators of these horrible acts continue to act with impunity. Since October of last year, peaceful demonstrators have taken to the streets to urge government reform. They have been met with threats and brutal violence. Many have been gunned down. We strongly support the right of Iraqis to assemble peacefully and express themselves. We urge the Government of Iraq to take immediate steps to hold accountable the militias, thugs, and criminal gangs attacking Iraqis exercising their right to peaceful protest.