On Tuesday, the Iraqi Security Forces have blocked a number of major roads & bridges. It was due to the organizers of Saturday’s demonstrations said that they will initiate a march in the funerals of protesters killed during clashes with police.
The Iraqi authorities have closed all roads & bridges leading to the Tehrir Square and heavily-secured Green Zone in the Central Baghdad. The DPA reported that these steps were taken due to expected similar protests on the funerals. A number of supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr also said that they will join the march in funerals of protestors who were killed by the police during protests. The demonstrators were demanding for reshuffling the electoral commission of Iraq. The Iraqi Interior Ministry said earlier that 5 protesters were killed during clashes with police and one policeman was also killed in these clashes. Most eyewitnesses indicated that massive traffic congestions were experienced at the affected areas, including Al-Sank, Al-Gomhurriya, Al-Ahrar bridges and Al-Shohadaa.
There are a number of checkpoints across roads leading to the supposed protest hotspot at Al-Tehrir. The protests took place when Al-Sadr blamed electoral commission for corruption and implementing an unfair electoral system for the Iraqi provincial polling. The polling for Iraqi provinces was announced in the month of April 2017, but a considerable amount of disagreement from the political groups regarding polling caused postponing the provincial polling to 2018. Point to be noted that Al-Sadr movement is well-known for its massive anti-corruption protests against then Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki in the year 2014. Now, he has demanded to reform the Iraqi electoral commission due to current commission has been considered corrupt. It is important that the chairman of Iraqi parliamentary panel had announced on Sunday that the panel is now selecting new members for electoral commission and the new formation of commission will be finalized very soon.