May 23 (UPI) -- A report released Saturday by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance says hundreds of Iraqi protesters were killed and thousands were wounded during antigovernment protests in the country last fall.
In addition, the report says, 123 people were verified to have been abducted or detained, of whom 25 remain missing or are of unknown status.
According to the U.N., none of the perpetrators of the abductions have been detained or tried for their crimes. Investigators interviewed 25 people who had been abducted, and found that in all cases they had participated in demonstrations or provided support to demonstrators -- and all had been activists prior to last fall's demonstrations or posted statements critical of authorities on social media.
There were also common threads in the abduction incidents as victims described them: all said they had been forced into vehicles by multiple masks and armed men in public, while in the vicinity of protest sites or while traveling to or from demonstrations -- or on regular routes they took traveling to and from work.
At least 600 protesters have been killed and more than 18,000 injured since the unrest began in October, according to Amnesty International.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who was sworn in earlier this month, has promised to crack down on those targeting protesters and to release protesters from jail unless they were charged with a violent offense.