Reporting from the heart of Iraq’s deadly protests

FRANCE 24’s James André reports from the front lines of a protest in Baghdad where often deadly demonstrations have been taking place for more than a month in an effort to force a complete overhaul of Iraq’s political system.

Some 319 people have died in the protests since they began on October 1, according to official figures, with demonstrators engaging in running street battles with police.

The UN’s mission to Iraq has sought solve the crisis by proposing a referendum on constitutional reform and anti-corruption measures in what has been ranked by the NGO Transparency International as the 12th most corrupt country in the world.

But that has failed to placate the protesters, who are demanding an entirely new constitution and the complete removal from power of the country’s current political class.

The government has responded with arrests and the heavy use of tear gas in an effort to disperse protesters, a tactic that has so far failed to quell the unrest.