IRAQ (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on his supporters to heed calls to resume anti-government demonstrations on Friday, after a week-long pause that left more than 100 people dead.
And came out earlier this month mass demonstrations calling for reform and fighting corruption and tackling unemployment in the country, including violence that killed 110 people and injured more than 6,000 others, according to official figures.
Sadr is the first to call for millions of demonstrations to fight corruption and improve the country.
“You intend to order you to demonstrate on October 25, and this is your right,” Sadr said in a statement to protesters on Saturday night.
But he added that “Iraq is honest in your necks, so don’t waste it. But they did not and will not be, it is too late.”
On May 4, the influential cleric supporting the parliamentary alliance, which won parliamentary elections in May 2018, called for the resignation of the government and early elections under the auspices of the United Nations.
In his latest appeal, Sadr stressed the peaceful demonstration. “They rumor that you will take up arms and I do not think you will. You are not bloodthirsty, free revolutionaries, reform lovers,” he said.
At the same time, he called on security forces to stay away from the use of force against demonstrators.
In a similar call earlier to Sadr, thousands of Iraqis on Saturday chanted slogans against corruption in the processions of pilgrims participating in the commemoration of the forty in the city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, in a move in support of continuing the protests demand.
Thousands of Sadr supporters marched in their coffins, shouting “No, no to corruption … Yes to reform”. They also chanted “Free and free Baghdad.
On the same level, calls spread on social networks to come out at the Friday demonstration, which coincides with the first anniversary of the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
It also coincides with the end of the two-week deadline set by the Supreme Shiite religious authority in Iraq, to announce the results of government investigations into who is responsible for the violence during the demonstrations.
Experts say that the lack of radical reforms demanded by Iraqis after four decades of war in a country that ranks 12 in the list of the most corrupt countries in the world, is only a postponement of the problem.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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