Solidarity with the protests in Anbar, calls for international organizations to visit the protestors and the demonstrations are prevented from reaching Baghdad!
A number of civil society organizations based in Baghdad announced on Monday their support for protestors’ demands in Anbar province, and confirmed their quest to form a front to pressure the government to implement protesters’ demands, calling on international organizations to visit the protesters and see their demands. This announcement came during a visit by a delegation of
civil society organizations from the capital Baghdad to the sit-in in the city of Ramadi on Monday 11th of February. The delegation included a number of heads of organizations and activists that participated in demonstrations in February of 2011. Hana Edward, the head of Iraqi Al Amal, addressed the protestors in the square on behalf of the delegation and explained that “the delegation, consisting of 35 civil society organizations from Baghdad aims to stand with the demands of the demonstrators,” she added that “civil society organizations show unlimited solidarity with our people in Anbar, Salahaddin, Nineveh and Diyala and every province to defend their legitimate rights”. In her address to the protestors, Edward explained, “Civil society organizations will form a front to pressure the government to implement the demands of the protesters and defend their legitimate rights to eliminate inequality and injustice done to large segments of the Iraqi people.”
Edward called for “resolving the current crisis on the negotiating table under the umbrella of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, thus developing a road map to end the country’s suffocating crises and restore its wellness and establish civil peace.” Organizations issued a statementin which local civil society expressed that they are “worried a lot of the fact that the central government hesitate to take brave steps necessary to resolve the crisis”, criticizing what they described as “small and confused steps made by the government to show that it is for resolving the crisis.”
The visit is the most important visit of civil society organizations from the capital Baghdad Square to show solidarity with demonstrators in Ramadi since the outbreak of the demonstrations last December 2012. Activists and civil society leaders from several provinces, have launched a civilian initiative to end the current Iraqi crisis, during their visit to the Square sit-in in the city of Samarra -10 February 2013- bearing the logo together we can recover the wounds of our homeland. “
The protestors were planning to take the demonstrations to Baghdad but have been prevented to reach the capital. Anbar Operations Command prevented earlier on Monday citizens of that province from crossing into Baghdad, for fear of their participation in demonstrations next Friday. These are attempts to curb demonstrations in the western provinces to reach Baghdad. Security forces in the Taji area, which represents Baghdad North Gate were also preventing the citizens of the provinces of Salahuddin and Nineveh from entering the capital Baghdad. As tensions rise, there is a risk that violence and attacks on the protestors can occur. We support the solidarity among civil society and protesters and call the Iraqi Government to answer the call of protesters of justice, equality and the protection of the freedom of expression in Iraq. Source and photo from Al Mada Press Agency