Demonstrators flocked to Tahrir Square in the center of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, to commemorate the first anniversary of what is known as the “October Uprising”, and to demand political reforms, eradicating corruption and holding the killers of the demonstrators accountable.
Security forces were deployed on the Al-Sinak Bridge and the areas surrounding the Green Zone, and the Baghdad Operations Command issued directives to the security services to prevent the use of weapons and live ammunition in the areas of demonstrations.
And the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi called on the demonstrators to beware of the attempts by parties – he did not name them – to remove the demonstrations from their peacefulness, calling on the security forces to protect the demonstrations, this came in a televised speech hours before the start of demonstrations in Baghdad and other governorates, to commemorate the first annual anniversary of the protests. Popularity on 25 October of last year.
In his speech, Al-Kazemi called on the demonstrators to form human bands to protect the peaceful protest, and to confront the attempts to spread sedition among the demonstrators.
He stressed that the Iraqi social movement has drawn up a road map that everyone acknowledged, and he and the government are pursuing it.
Prime Minister @MAKadhimi We commemorate the 25th of October, to remind ourselves that the people have genuine rights, a clear voice, a courageous attitude, and a vision, and that the ruler’s job is to listen to the voice of his people. pic.twitter.com/NnWY4czJMU
Media Office of the Prime Minister (@IraqiPMO) October 24, 2020
In preparation for the commemoration of the popular movement, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense issued orders on Saturday to all its members in Baghdad not to carry or use weapons in places of protests.
The leadership called on all its members to deal with the highest degree of wisdom, patience, professionalism, patriotism, and respect for the peaceful demonstrators who are demanding their legitimate rights, and also called on all the demonstrators to adhere to the peacefulness of the demonstrations, which over a whole year yielded great and important results.
She stressed the importance of preserving public and private money, and preventing intruders from changing or diverting the course of peaceful demonstrations.
For its part, the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Iraq called today on the demonstrators to adhere to peace, and called on the security forces to provide protection for them during the commemoration of the first anniversary of the start of the protest demonstrations.
In preparation for the protests today, the Iraqi government deployed security and military forces in the vicinity of the demonstration squares and in the streets leading to them, and conducted inspection campaigns to prevent the carrying of weapons, and deployed forces over tall buildings in the demonstration squares in anticipation of violence.
Since yesterday evening, hundreds of demonstrators have flocked to the demonstration squares in Baghdad and the governorates in the center and south of the country, to participate in the commemoration of the first anniversary of the start of the protest demonstrations.
Last August, the Iraqi government announced the killing of 565 protesters and security personnel since October 2019 during protests in various regions of the country.
The popular movement was launched for many reasons, including its rejection of corruption, calls for political and economic reforms, and it succeeded in overthrowing the previous government headed by Adel Abdul Mahdi.