Friday, 28 December 2012

Iraq Protests – 9 Demands

Elections looming on the horizon and 5 days of protests have led to a sudden burst of interest in Iraq, the country the world usually chooses to ignore. The protests erupted after the arrest of the Finance Minister’s bodyguards sparked already simmering anger. Prime Minister Maliki has denied ordering last Thursday’s arrests and suggested that they were the result of an investigation undertaken by the judiciary. Protesters say the issues are far greater than these recent arrests.

Western media is playing up the Sunni-vs-Shia “rising sectarian tide” angle on these events, which bear all the hallmarks of other similar uprisings in the MENA region, starting with Tunisia a little over 2 years ago. One of the protest areas, Anbar, is also claimed to be a location currently favoured by al Qaeda, with the suggestion it might be used as a transit point for fighters en route to Syria. The government is reported to have imposed emergency situation restrictions there.

28 Dec 2012

Tens of thousands protest in Iraq 28 Dec 2012

No revolution is complete without a Facebook page these days and Iraq has one, because in fact there have been protests there for at least two years; they just didn’t get the same level of attention as some countries.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have joined demonstrations in Anbar, Falluja, and Ramadi, chanting slogans against Mr Maliki. During the protest in Ramadi a mock funeral was held for the Iraqi judiciary.

Some journalists attempting to reach the city were held at an army checkpoint some 50km east of Ramadi for six hours, and were unable to cover the demonstration, says the BBC’s Rami Ruhayem who was at the scene.

Al Jazeera has already hosted a discussion asking “What is stoking Iraqi rage?”

In one protest today, community leaders issued nine demands and an ultimatum to the government during  a video interview:

  1. immediate release of detained protesters and dissident prisoners
  2. approve the amnesty law for innocent detainees
  3. drop the terrorism charges against Vice President Tariq al Hashemi
  4. repeal unfair rulings against dissidents
  5. provide essential services to areas which have been neglected by the state
  6. hold all members of official or security organisations who have committed crimes against dissidents accountable, especially those who have violated the honor of women in prisons
  7. stop financial and administrative corruption
  8. stop agitating divisions between groups
  9.  fight sectarianism

From tomorrow, Saturday 29 December 2012, an open-ended sit-in will begin, until these demands are met.

via @lissnup

Posted via email from lissping