Thousands of Anti-Corruption Iraqis Protests Over Shortage of Clean Water, Electricity and Jobs
Thousands of Iraqis have demonstrated against the government over the lack of basic services across the country, as rampant electricity cuts exacerbate a sweltering heat wave.
On Sunday, hundreds took to the streets in the southern cities of Nasriyah and and Najaf to protest over poor living conditions, including power shortages, and urged authorities to fight widespread corruption.
About 1,000 people also rallied in the central town of Hillah, where many called for holding government officials accountable for poor public services.
A day earlier, large protests broke out in the cities of Basra and Karbala over the poor quality of water and frequent electrical blackouts.
In Basra, hundreds protested in front of the governor's office to demand a solution to the long-running problem of salty tap water.
"We demand the dismissal of the governor and of the provincial council; the time has come for Basra's people to get their rights," Ziyad Tareq, a student, told the AFP news agency.
When the governor's deputy went out to hear their demands, demonstrators pelted him with plastic water bottles and insisted on seeing the governor himself.
"The local government is always promising improved water and electricity but they are liars and no longer have any credibility," Tareq said.
Basra has seen temperatures past 50 degrees Celsius in recent days and the scorching heat is expected to last throughout the week.
-Al Jazeera English
Decrease in number of protesters
What the media cover
The media who report about the current protests in Iraq cover the demands of the protesters, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s proposed changes and the support of the influential religious clerics, such as Muqtada al-Sadr.
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi's new measures
In response to the protest, PM Haider Al-Abadi “issues a series of new measures to enhance social justice”, as it is said on his Twitter account @HaiderAlAbadi.
“Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi issues orders to the Special Operations forces and the Baghdad Operations Command to carry out the necessary arrangements to open the Green Zone to citizens.”
“Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, orders the formation of specialized legal committees to review the sale and rental and ownership state properties in Baghdad and the provinces.”
“Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi orders all the operations commanders and security commanders in Baghdad and the provinces to open the main streets closed by VIPs and influential parties.”