Iraq – Al-Sadr supporters camped inside parliament

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Location: The Green Zone – Parliament Building – Baghdad – Iraq

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:04:48

Sound: natural

Source: A24 in Iraq

Restrictions: A24 Subscribers

Date: 31/07/ 2022

Storyline:

Thousands of supporters of the populist Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr continue their protest inside Baghdad’s parliament building which they seized for the second time on Saturday.

After elections, last October, Al-Sadr’s bloc came out as the biggest parliamentary group but still fell short of a governing majority.

Protesters told A24 that by nominating Mohammed Al Sudani as the next prime minister, their political rivals in the Coordination Framework proved their inability to end the corruption keeping oil-rich Iraq from providing essential services to its citizens.

Al Sudani is aligned with former prime minister Nouri Al Maliki who they blame for the lack of basic infrastructure, services, and security.

Meanwhile caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, held an emergency meeting with security leaders to assess the situation in Baghdad.

Al-Kazemi ordered security forces to protect the protesters who entered the Green Zone. And asked al-Sadr supporters for restraint and to follow police instructions.

But by Sunday morning, al-Sadr’s partisans had set up camp on the grounds and inside the hallways of the parliament building. 

They now vow to stay until a government is formed that can make substantial changes at top levels and stem the influence of what they say is a corrupt political elite.

Shotlist:

– Soundbite (Protester outside parliament building):

“We demand a change of the political situation. We demand a solution to resolve issues and improve the overall situation in the country.”

– Soundbite (Protester outside parliament building):

“We are in a sit-in protest inside parliament building for the second day in a row. This is our way of conveying a message to the United Nations and the European Union, as oppressed Iraqis in need of support. First of all, we want the government to declare a state of emergency, close all airports and borders, and announce new elections with the support of the United Nations. Second, we want the first winner to take control and prevent corrupt parties from interfering with the government. Democratic

system states that whoever wins elections rules the country.”

– Soundbite (Protester outside parliament building):

“We came from Nasiriyah to Baghdad to participate in the protest. We have entered the parliament building several times. We will remain here, as we await orders. We will not leave until the government meets our demands. We support the state, we are not against it. We are here because we want things to get back on the right track.”

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