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Iraqi anti-government protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, December 11, 2019. SABAH ARAR / AFP

A teenager was hanged and lynched by the crowd on Thursday morning, December 12, in Iraq, on the edge of Tahrir Square in Baghdad, where protesters have been gathering for more than two months. An act that could tarnish the peaceful image of the movement. Protesters shout at the plot and say " do not be responsible for these events ".

With our correspondent in Baghdad, Lucile Wassermann

A teenage boy, half naked, hung by the feet at a traffic light in downtown Baghdad. This is the unbearable image that circulates massively since Thursday morning on social networks.

According to witnesses on the spot, this young man would have momentarily attacked protesters. He would then have taken refuge in his home before men forced him to go out and a crowd, hysterical, lynched him and hanged him in the middle of the Iraqi capital.

In the hours following this barbaric act, a statement signed "The Demonstrators of Tahrir Square" was published, denouncing " a Machiavellian plan to tarnish the reputation of peaceful protesters ".

Politicians have not been slow to react. A close relative of Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr has threatened to withdraw his supporters from the meeting places, officially present to " protect the protesters ".

The Commission for Human Rights in Iraq has condemned a brutal act and denounced " the failure of the authorities to protect the population ".

See also: Iraq: kidnappings and killings of protesters multiply