Iraq, students protest in Baghdad
Thousands of demonstrators today filled Tahrir Square in Baghdad and the surrounding areas, scene of massive anti-government popular protests since October, in solidarity with the demonstrators of Iraqi southern cities that fell victim to the repression of pro-Iranian Shiite militias yesterday.
“Al-Sumariya TV” today showed images of the thousands of people, mostly students from schools and universities, who flocked to downtown Baghdad to continue the protest sit-ins that have been going on since 1 October.
Yesterday in Najaf, a southern sanctuary city, 7 demonstrators had been killed by unspecified gunmen. Local sources attribute the shooting to pro-Iranian militiamen.
Anti-government protests have erupted on a regular basis in Iraq in recent years. Starting on 25 October 2019, mass protests took place in many cities in Iraq, including Kerbala, against corruption and a national government that protestors saw as unaccountable for its actions. After the U.S. occupation (2003–11), oligarchs and warlords were perceived to have taken control over Iraq. The recent demonstrations call for a new independent Government. According to AFP reporters they once stood side by side against tear gas and bullets, protesting together against Iraq’s government. But after cleric Moqtada Sadr’s followers switched sides, young activists feel vulnerable and betrayed.See more about Arab News Latest, Arab Politics News.