Saturday, August 29, 2015

Iraq Reform Protests

Perhaps because so many journalists are based in Beirut, I'm seeing a lot of coverage of protests in Lebanon.  Iraq, however, is also witnessing a sustained, nationwide popular movement against corruption:
The capital and many southern cities have witnessed demonstrations in recent weeks calling for provision of basic services, the trial of corrupt politicians, and the shakeup of a system riddled with graft and incompetence.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators filled Baghdad's Tahrir Square on Friday in what a senior security official called the biggest protest of the summer. Thousands more rallied in Najaf, Basra and other cities across the Shi'ite southern heartland following a call from powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Protesters' demands, which initially aimed at improving power supply amid a sweltering heatwave, have focused more on encouraging Abadi to accelerate reforms, put corrupt officials on trial and loosen the grip of powerful parties over the state...
(Prime Minister) Abadi ordered on Friday the formation of a legal committee to review the ownership of state properties and return illegally gained assets to the state. Critics say some officials have abused their authority to appropriate state-owned properties for personal use.



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