Thousands demonstrate peacefully across Iraq

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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.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    ولاء

    2013-3-27

    Everyone knows that the Iraqi government is led by the Mullahs of Iran and that is what destroyed Iraq and brought it 100 years back. Hence, this gang cannot lead Iraq. If we take a look at Iraq from the south all the way to the north, we will see that it has been plagued by corruption in all administrative aspects, particularly in the field of construction in which acts of theft take place in the light of the day.

  • ماهر

    2013-2-21

    We are all tired of the bitterness of terrorism. For this reason, there are massive demonstrations to say no to terrorism. Damn the parties which seek the destruction of Iraq. Whatever happens, Iraq will always be a proud nation. This country will definitely get rid of the terrorists. I admit that the citizens are unable to face the terrorists. But, this does not mean that they do not hate them terribly. The true Iraqi citizens are longing for stability. They want to have safe outings in the Squares. Besides, they often call on the police and the army to confront the terrorists and to rid the Iraqi nation of their presence. In fact, the Iraqi citizens have many other demands. They demonstrate to protest against the confidential informants. The demonstrators say that those people should focus on the terrorists rather than the honorable citizens. Indeed, the citizens reject the divulgation of their secrets through eavesdropping and spying. These are legitimate rights that should be guaranteed to everyone. For this reason, many people are demonstrating. Such practices do not exist in nations where transparency and democracy prevail. The Iraqi people are also demonstrating to demand better services and the renovation of facilities. They want to lead a decent life and that is the reason why they are protesting. They feel that there is a big drawback in the provision of services. In fact, the competent authorities had promised the Iraqi citizen to respond to such demands, but they did not keep to their promise. For this reason, the Iraqi people are angry and flustered. The authorities in Iraq must bear the frustration of the people in mind. They should not seek the enmity of the people because they will be losers at the end of the day. Those demonstrations should be viewed as a real warning. Thus, the Iraqi Government must seek the solutions rather than the confrontation.

  • وليد العراقي

    2013-2-15

    There is no need for bloodshed. What is there after the jihad? Do you think that God will bless what they describe as a holy war between the two parties! God with his glory and majesty will never accept such act, and he will avenge from all of us. We are brothers in religion, descent, and history, and we fight each other! Unfortunately, we are just acting like the barbaric folks who inhabit the jungles of Africa. My advice for the Shiite- and Sunni- brothers are to demand divides their areas. As such, one state will include the central and southern part, and the other state to include the Western, Kirkuk and Diyala. It is very sad and regrettable to divide the country. However, it is an inescapable solution so people can settle. Definitely, future generations need stability as well. By God our heart cries and the earth cries, maybe time will have us meet again.

  • محمد علي محمد

    2013-2-14

    Where are the rights of the minorities? Where are their right to participate in the decision-making? Is this democracy?

  • عامر العلي

    2013-2-14

    The supporters of the hero of the hole, Saddam, who destroyed everything including the land, trees, land, rivers, and plants. He did not spare anything in Iraq. He made Iraq backward by 1000 years and made the state incur endless debts. He wasted billions of dollars that can build states from scratch because of the wars and losses under his dark age. You, before anyone else, know how he destroyed Iraq. This hero of the hole made us lose in three deadly wars that destroyed everything in Iraq. In addition to the farce of the mass destruction arms as well as the costs of his birthday parties in addition to his gifts to the mercenaries, he also granted oil coupons and wasted the money of Iraq to build his palaces and secure himself.

  • علاء حميد

    2013-2-14

    . I am Muslim and I do not care whether I am Sunni or Shiite. I am Muslim only. As Muslims, the only difference between us is based on our sincere faith, our good intention and how much we give. We do not want this backward and sectarian government with its Sunni and Shiite parties, because they caused corruption and backwardness in the country. Our demands in the demonstrations should not be limited to changing the sterile electoral law, which opened the door before the climbers and the backward people and allowed them to assume offices that they do not deserve. Therefore, the result was destructive. The electoral law must be redrafted in a way that guarantees the separation between religion and politics. The election must be based on the independence and efficiency of the candidates, and we have many efficient people in Iraq. This is in order to rectify things and save the country.

  • moon

    2013-2-14

    The time has come to complete the filthy game and restore the sectarian strife to Iraqi. Why you did not demonstrate when Al-Qaeda was killing your people and your compatriots and in your areas in front of your eyes? These are mere pretexts and all you want is war, not the peaceful demonstrations. The time has come and Al-Qaeda will return to you and this would be your penalty.

  • سهيل القيسي

    2013-2-14

    We thank God because many Iraqi brothers joined us in the Dignity Square in order to demand a better Iraq where we live honorably. I swear that the Najaf governorate and Kerbela have suffered terribly because of the domination of the Iranians over their governorates and we all know what the Iranians do. They have brought destruction not only to Iraq but also to the Iraqis. We all know that the Iranians are responsible for bringing the hashish, heroine, and poppy to Iraq in order to destroy the Iraqi people and steal its riches.

  • الساهرون

    2013-2-14

    The demonstrations in Iraq will achieve no result because Al-Maliki was elected constitutionally and I think that the main purpose of these demonstrations is to support the Syrian opposition, which suffers from military defeat. The Syrian army has made its decision and supported its home. Al-Asad’s speech is clear evidence and those who try to get Iraq involved in this game will lose.

  • احمد هاتو

    2013-2-8

    Demonstrations must be carried out in a protest against these rigged elections. All of us support the Iraqi people in their claim for their rights. The era of dictatorships is over, and I am sure that all of Mohammad's – PBUH – nation supports you. Good luck.

  • احمد هاتو

    2013-2-8

    The great Iraqi people will rise up against this injustice with a public revolution, which will call attention to the injustice and unfairness that has existed for 10 years of suffering. But I am really surprised by the logic of the extremist agent rulers. The thing that forced them to show this logic is the balances, which made them fear that they would lose them. The Green Zone rulers do not have balances in the tens of billions, as UI thought; yet the fact is that this logic means that the balances have exceeded the threshold of $100 billion.

  • طارق مهدي

    2013-2-8

    Power in the sectarian Iraq is an octopus; no, let’s say it is a snake with several heads. The mass revolutionary movement does not appear except when it is facing all the heads. There is no difference between a demonstration in support of al-Barzani and a protest against al-Maliki in Erbil, and a demonstration led by al-Issawi against al-Maliki in Anbar; and another demonstration in Basra that comes out to support al-Maliki and to insult al-Barzani and al-Issawi.

  • كرار حميد

    2013-2-8

    We appeal to the United Nations, all international organizations and the UN Security Council. We say that, regarding the bill of sanctions imposed on Iran and on its people for its efforts to violate the international system, to seek a nuclear weapon to blackmail the small countries in the region and to rebuild the Persian Empire again, the price for that is paid by Iraq and the Iraqi people. That is because Iraq became the popular market for Iran to sell all the products of its factories, without censorship or anything, because the new Iraqi politicians neglected to inspect everything that comes to Iraq from Iran. In addition to that, there is money laundering, which is done almost on a daily basis by Ahmed Nouri al-Maliki, the brokers of al-Maliki and the agents of Iran.

  • muhamed ali

    2013-2-7

    This is destiny and we have no way other than taking to the streets and stopping this silence. We will participate in the peaceful demonstrations that may be suppressed violently because things are going way off base. The situation is going in the opposite direction. The Iraqi state is doing its best but this is still below our expectations and aspirations to a secure Iraqi state. Hence, we must end this silence and take to the streets to stress that we need a secure life away from the terrorism and the violence. We will insist to either live honorably or die with dignity. Those who were killed by the terrorists are not less than we are because they were killed unawares and against their will. Hence, we must restore their rights or die while trying to liberate our home from the violence, terrorism, and tyranny of Saddam and the US invader. We must try to make Iraq free from the suppression of the terrorists and the extremism. May God guide us to what pleases him.

  • عمر محمود

    2013-2-7

    I ask God to ease the distresses of our Sunni brothers in Iraq, Syria and everywhere.

  • كامل حسين

    2013-2-2

    O Allah, protect the great Iraq from strife and the plots of those that harbor envy towards it.. O Allah, whoever wishes ill towards Iraq, let them be preoccupied with themselves, and let us see in them the wonders of your might.. O Allah, bring the hearts of the Iraqis together, and unite their ranks, and mend their hearts. O Allah, foil the works of every evildoer that wants to spread corruption, destruction and devastation on the lands of our great and beloved republic.