Iraq: At least 320 dead
Iraq’s protests have been the bloodiest, by far. That is because Iraqi security forces have responded to the gatherings with live fire, tear gas and arrests. It is difficult to calculate an exact casualty count, however, as Iraqi authorities are refusing to release official death tolls. According to the Associated Press, at least 320 protesters have been killed in those demonstrations, though the number could be far higher.
Protests erupted in Iraq last month, in large part in response to Iraqis’ anger at endemic corruption throughout the government and at the failing economy. Protesters say they want a new political system to replace the one set up after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Lebanon: One dead
Nationwide protests began Oct. 17 after Lebanon’s government proposed increasing a tax on WhatsApp, the communications technology widely used within the country. But they’ve continued because of deeper discontent: high unemployment, widespread corruption and a government led mainly by the same polarizing men since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990.
Alaa Abou Fakhr, a 39-year-old father of three, was killed Nov. 12 when a Lebanese army officer shot at protesters who were blocking roads in a coastal town south of the capital, Beirut. The army said they’ve detained the soldier and opened an investigation. Meanwhile, while protests remain largely peaceful, protesters have clashed with security forces and supporters of the powerful militant group Hezbollah, whose Iran-backed leader opposes the protests, and another Shiite militia, Amal.
Hong Kong: Two dead
Six months ago, the streets of Hong Kong erupted in demonstrations over a draft bill that would allow for the extradition of people to mainland China. Hong Kong’s government has since withdrawn the legislation, but now people want more: political reforms, including a new system for elections that lessens China’s political control over the peninsula.
Two protesters have died in incidents related to demonstrations. On Nov. 8, 22-year-old Chow Tsz-Lok, a computer science student and protester, died after he fell from a parking garage earlier in the week. Today, the death toll rose after a 70-year-old man was hit in the head by a brick during clashes. He was reportedly a cleaner and on his lunch break: He opted to clear bricks from a road and was hit in crossfire between pro- and anti-government forces, according to CNN.
Chile: At least 20 people dead
In October, Chile’s government raised the price of metro and bus fares, igniting a wave of anti-government and youth-led protests that have coalesced around anger at income inequality, failing public services and the right-leaning government’s policies. Chile had been considered a beacon of stability and economic progress in Latin America, but the policies promulgated by the government, including privatization of public goods, came at a price that people say they can no longer bear.
The circumstances behind many of the deaths in Chile remain under investigation. Chile’s prosecutors office has said that some people died in clashes with security forces, while others reportedly died in violence such as fires and vandalism. Prosecutors think that five of at least 20 deaths were at the hands of security forces, according to Al Jazeera. Along with the deaths, there are many other abuse claims to address: “Prosecutors are investigating more than 800 allegations of abuse, including torture, rape and beatings by security forces during demonstrations,” Reuters reported in early November. Rights groups have also accused police of aiming pellet guns at peoples’ eyes.
Bolivia: Ten dead
On Sunday, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales resigned after a quick yet forceful uprising against him that’s left the South American country dangerously on edge. It began three weeks earlier, when left-leaning Morales, Bolivia’s longtime leader, declared victory in an election, despite evidence of “clear manipulation,” according to the Organization of American States. Right-wing Bolivians took to the street in protests that have since spiraled into larger clashes between the country’s polarized political sides. Morales is now in Mexico and has denounced his departure as a “coup” after the military pulled its support.
Ten people have died, according to the AP, citing Bolivia’s prosecutors office. Clashes between protesters and security forces have continued, despite Morales’s move to Mexico, as forces for and against the deposed president struggle with each other and security forces.