Thousands of people carrying banners calling for peaceful demonstrations and the renunciation of violence, terrorism and sectarianism marched in protests across Iraq on Friday (February 1st).
In Baghdad, the neighbourhoods of al-Ameriya, al-Sidiya, al-Khadra, al-Adhamiyah, al-Dora, al-Ghazaliya and al-Fadhl all saw high turnout among protesters.
The demonstrations also extended to the cities of Samarra and Tikrit in Salaheddine province; Baqubah and al-Meqdadiya in Diyala province; Fallujah, Ramadi and Haditha in Anbar province; and Mosul, Rabia and Sinjar in Ninawa province, among others.
"Today's demonstrations are no different from previous demonstrations in terms of the demands and rights we are seeking," Khaled Hamoud, a spokesman for demonstrators in Fallujah, told Al-Shorfa. "We hope that the government will meet them, and we are determined to continue our peaceful demonstrations."
He said demonstration co-ordination committees across Iraq took new measures on Friday to prevent the infiltration of terrorists or saboteurs into the protests, including banning masks, sticks, weapons and sharp tools.
"The demonstrators will just carry copies of the Qur'an, prayers mats, olive branches or palm fronds to express the peaceful nature of demonstrations," he said. "We also agreed to report any suspicious situations or individuals to security forces in Fallujah and other cities witnessing demonstrations."
Hassan Abdel Aziz, head of demonstration co-ordination committees in Baghdad, said "security forces created a secure atmosphere for demonstrators."
"The demonstrators have the same demands, but also call for an investigation into the case of victims who fell in Fallujah last Friday," he added.
Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani, who heads a government-formed ministerial committee tasked with addressing demonstrator demands, told Al-Shorfa the government issued instructions to security forces to protect the demonstrators and "allow them to exercise their democratic rights".
"For the third week running, we have succeeded in meeting many demands," he said. "However, there are different demands from one province to another and from one city to another."
"Work is under way to meet such demands as per the Iraqi constitution and laws," al-Shahristani added.