Iraq: protesters camp out in Green Zone

One day after storming parliament, Iraqi protesters began camping out May 1 within the confines of Baghdad's International Zone, or "Green Zone." The Green Zone, a secured area that includes embassies and government buildings, was breached by protesters mobilized by Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. A state of emergency was declared for the city and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi demanded arrest of protest leaders. The demonstration was launched to protest alleged corruption within the Iraqi government. Al-Sadr called on the government to speed long-delayed plans for a non-partisan, technocratic cabinet.

There have been reports of demonstrators beginning to leave the Green Zone, after al-Sadr requested the protests break up to maintain security for pilgrims expected to enter the city to visit the shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim.

From Jurist, May 1. Used with permission.

Note: Moqtada al-Sadr, traditionally a figure associated with Shi'ite sectarianism, has recently started to join anti-sectarian protests for political reform in Iraq. The current wave of protests began with anti-sectarian left-wing forces of Iraq's civil resistance.