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Iraqi PM orders halt on unauthorized protests, Sadr calls for more demos

Sadr renewed his call for the parliament to vote on the cabinet overhaul and asked MPs that represent him not to take part in any session

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered a halt on unauthorized protests and said that that violators would be arrested, Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent reported on Wednesday.

Abadi, who emphasized that the authorities will continue their tasks of enforcing security, also told them to pursue anyone who trespasses on either public and private properties.

The prime minister made the order after an urgent security meeting with military and security leaders on Wednesday.

“The meeting discussed the protests being held in front of state institutions, which lead to obstructing work there. It also discussed the general security situation in the country,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

“(We) confirm the (citizens’) right to peaceful protests according to the legal framework, and (we confirm) the government’s commitment to its duties in maintaining security and stability and preventing any unlicensed protests,” it added.


According to the statement, protests will only be allowed in the capital Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. “The government commits to providing the required security to protestors,” the statement added.

Angry protestors have recently obstructed ministries’ work as they demanded ministers to submit their resignations.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s powerful Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday called for renewed protests after the nation’s politicians missed a deadline he gave to vote on a cabinet of technocrats proposed by Abadi to tackle corruption.

In a statement received by email, Sadr called for “continuing peaceful protests under the same intensity and even more in order to pressure the politicians and the lovers of corruption.”

“Nobody has the right to stop it otherwise the revolution will take another turn,” he said in the statement.

Sadr renewed his call for the parliament to vote on the cabinet overhaul and asked MPs that represent him not to take part in any session other than the one to be convened for that purpose.

(With Reuters)