Students march against outrage by religious hardliners in Basra

Students march against outrage by religious hardliners in Basra
On 15 March in Basra, a group of students (both male and female) from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Basra organised a day trip to one of Basra’s Parks in the Al Makhal area of the city.
Once in the park, the students were attacked by a mob of Islamist hardliners who told the students that such gatherings of young men and women are “an un-Islamic practice”. The mob severely beat the students and shaved off one of the woman student’s hair as a punishment in a practice eerily reminiscent of the atrocities carried out against women in neighbouring countries. 15 students were taken to hospital as a result of the brutal attack where they are still recovering.
The incident happened while local police were looking on. 12 police cars were reportedly at the scene while the attack was taking place.
This brutal outrage must be condemned as an attack upon the Iraqi people’s civil liberties. Such repression should and must not be allowed to happen in a democratic Iraq.
0n 16 March as a reaction to the unprovoked attacked thousands of students (both male and female) from Basra’s University marched in protest and in defiance of the attackers.
Students from all faculties of Basra University took part in the demonstration yesterday, condemning the attack. They carried banners with the slogan “No to Terrorism”.
The Students and civil society organizations in Basra are calling on the local and national authorities to bring to justice the culprits.
Some of the students who were taken to hospitals were in a serious condition.