Baghdad (AFP) – Influential Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr has given his supporters the green light to resume anti-government protests, after the movement was interrupted following a deadly crackdown.
Protests shook Iraq for six days from October 1, with young Iraqis denouncing corruption and demanding jobs and services before calling for the downfall of the government.
The protests — notable for their spontaneity — were violently suppressed, with official counts reporting 110 people killed and 6,000 wounded, most of them demonstrators.
Calls have been made on social media for fresh rallies on Friday, the anniversary of Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi’s government taking office.
“It’s your right to participate in protests on October 25,” Sadr told his followers in a Facebook post on Saturday evening.
Protesters have opposed any appropriation of their leaderless movement and the firebrand cleric was restrained on Sunday in comparison to his previous exhortations for “million-man marches”.
He qualified his support by adding: “Those who don’t want to take part in this revolution can choose another via the ballot box in internationally supervised elections and without the current politicians,” he said.