البيت الآرامي العراقي




البيت الآرامي العراقي

سياسي ِ ثقافي ِ أجتماعي


 
الرئيسيةالرئيسيةبحـثالتسجيلarakeyboardsyrkeyboardدخول

شاطر | 
 

 Iraqis protest lack of services

استعرض الموضوع السابق استعرض الموضوع التالي اذهب الى الأسفل 
كاتب الموضوعرسالة
Dr.Hannani Maya
المشرف العام
المشرف العام



الدولة : العراق
الجنس : ذكر
عدد المساهمات : 37598
مزاجي : أحب المنتدى
تاريخ التسجيل : 21/09/2009
الابراج : الجوزاء
التوقيت :

مُساهمةموضوع: Iraqis protest lack of services    الجمعة 11 فبراير 2011, 11:57 pm

Iraqis protest lack of services





Hundreds of Iraqis took to the streets Friday to demonstrate against a lack of basic services, the latest in a series of protests that have swept the country as turmoil rocks other parts of the Arab world.

Iraq has been slow to get back on its feet almost eight years after the U.S.-led invasion and is trying to tackle severe water shortages and a sporadic electricity supply. Infrastructure remains badly damaged.

"This is like an alarm for the government. They have to listen to the people. They have to cut the growing corruption in government offices. They have to meet the basic needs," said Ahmed Abdul-Hussein, deputy editor-in-chief at state-run newspaper al-Sabah and a protest organizer.

In the capital Baghdad, hundreds of protestors marched peacefully under the watchful eye of the Iraqi army to the heavily-fortified Green Zone of government buildings and embassies, calling for an improvement in basic services.

"Where are your electoral promises, food rations and basic services?" one banner read. Another had "Tahrir Square Two" written on it, referring to the square in Cairo which has been the epicenter of protests which have forced the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Hundreds of people also demonstrated around the Sadr City slum, while smaller protests were held in Mosul and Kerbala.In the southern oil hub of Basra, a small group from the Communist Party demonstrated in support of protests in Egypt.

Although public dissatisfaction is a challenge to the government, Iraq has already been freed from autocratic rule that demonstrators in other countries like Egypt want to end."What kind of a government with an $82 billion budget can't provide sugar for the food ration?" said government employee Naseem Abid.

"We are not asking for huge projects or nuclear energy. Iraq is a country with oil and yet we have no oil for heating. We are different to Egypt. Our country is rich."Iraq is one of the world's biggest importers of wheat and rice, much of which goes to a food ration program that supplies 60 percent of Iraqis.

Iraqis often complain of short monthly food rations.Another chief complaint is intermittent electricity. The national grid only meets 60 percent of demand and shortages last year led to protests in southern cities.

"Our demands are clear. We want improved services, food rations, jobs for the unemployed. There will be more demonstrations, not only this one. We will continue protesting," Baghdad resident Hamad al-Muni'm said.

by
Reuters. Editing by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Jon Hemming.


Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz

Reactions:
0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Arab Revolution, egypt, food in rubbish bins, Iraqi Government, Nationalism, Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, Rations, Socialism, Tahrir Square






if (window['tickAboveFold']) {window['tickAboveFold'](document.getElementById("latency-4302009406788949130")); }

Demonstrations spread across Iraq





The social and political protest movements sweeping the Arab countries from Tunisia and Egypt to Yemen, Sudan, Algeria and Jordan, have reached Iraq.

The last two weeks have seen several spontaneous demonstrations across the country, in the cities of Kut, Diwaniya and Basra, in the south, Anbar in the west, and the districts of al-Husseiniya and al-Kraiat, north of Baghdad.

The protesters’ grievances have been many and varied: the quality and level of basic services, government restrictions on civil liberties and freedom of expression, violations against civil servants, and the rampant financial and administrative corruption within state institutions.

In Basra, around one hundred protesters demanded the resignation of the governor and members of the local council, accusing them of corruption. They carried yellow cards, like those used by referees at football matches.In Baghdad, hundreds of people gathered in Bab al-Sham neighbourhood to demand better basic services and the resignation of local government officials. The protesters carried a coffin inscribed with the word "services".

And in the city’s al-Mutanabi Street, famous for its bookshops, hundreds of intellectuals, writers, journalists, activists and young people described as the facebook generation took part in sit-ins, condemning the restrictions imposed on their freedom, such as the decision taken by Baghdad Provincial Council to close nightclubs and bars.

Protesters carried banners with slogans saying: "Be aware and learn from the fate of Arab dictators and the revolutions of their people" and "Baghdad will not be another Kandahar."The protests in al-Mutanabi Street began last month, when an armed group wearing military clothes raided the premises of the Writers’ Union on 17 January, under the pretext that its social club was selling prohibited beverages.

At a press conference at Baghdad provincial council, Prime Minister Maliki said he expects further demonstrations "similar to those witnessed by some Arab countries." He also expects other demonstrations, "backed by some parties", although he did not name which ones.

But the demonstrators say their protests are fueled by the people themselves and there are no political parties behind them.Emad al-Khafaji is chairman of the committee for public freedoms. "There is a giant demon called "facebook" mobilizing people to demonstrate", he said. "It is a demon which is invisible to many politicians and decision makers."

Khafaji believes that the way the authorities responded positively and quickly is proof that the demonstrations in Iraq are an extension of those witnessed in Tunisia and Egypt.Prime Minister Maliki announced he was reducing his salary by a half, the speaker of parliament said the salaries of senior state officials would be re-examined, and the government promised to allocate 15,000 dinars (US$13) for every citizen to compensate for the shortfall in rations.

Observers believe that these measures are an official recognition of the huge differences in salaries between senior government officials and ordinary people and are an attempt to absorb the wrath of the Iraqi people, who have suffered from deteriorating living conditions and poor services.

Eight years after the US invasion of Iraq, the electricity supply in most areas of the country still does not exceed two hours a day, and the country still suffers from poor infrastructure, a weak transport network, and an acute crisis of drinking water and sanitation.

Observers do not rule out the possibility of more demonstrations in other parts of the country, especially after Imams denounced government corruption in their Friday sermons, and with the news of the demonstrations widely covered in most of the Arab media.

The citizens of al-Majar al-Kabeer district of Misan province in southern Iraq sent a letter to Prime Minister Maliki, in which they threatened to organize demonstrations if the government did not act against the local construction company, which has spent the last two and half years building a sewerage project."Enough is enough", they wrote "Do something about the company, or we will take to the streets. Be aware of the people’s anger."

Muhamad Saleh al-Nidawi, a professor of education, who took part in a demonstration in Husseiniya neighbourhood in northern Baghdad, said that the people of his neighborhood are used to sending petitions and writing statements and complaints."We have realised that peaceful demonstrations and movements on the ground are the most effective means of achieving our demands."

Hayder Najm, for
Niqash


Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz

Reactions:
0 comments Links to this post







if (window['tickAboveFold']) {window['tickAboveFold'](document.getElementById("latency-6169314655535056000")); }

Lawyers protest Iraq government





Hundreds of lawyers took to the streets across Iraq on Thursday to protest against widespread corruption and unemployment in demonstrations inspired by anti-government uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

The demonstrations in Baghdad, Karbala, Kut, Ramadi and Amara came a day after Iraq's anti-corruption chief said ministers frequently covered up graft in their departments.

In the capital, around 500 people, mostly lawyers but also including some tribal sheikhs, called for the government to open up so-called "secret prisons" to scrutiny, give detainees access to legal counsel and take stronger measures to fight corruption and boost employment.

"This demonstration will not end until our demands are met," Kadhim al-Zubaidi, spokesman for the Baghdad lawyers' guild, told AFP."We want lawyers to be protected, the corrupt to be fired, and more jobs for the Iraqi people."Protesters held up a banner which read: "Lawyers call for the government to abide by the law and provide jobs for the people," and: "The government must provide jobs and fight the corrupt."

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both charged that Iraqi security forces maintain secret prisons, where detainees are not given access to lawyers and are subjected to physical abuse, accusations the Iraqi government denies.About 500 lawyers and others turned up at two separate demonstrations in the city of Kut, southeast of Baghdad, to protest against the lack of basic services, such as electricity, water and sewerage.

"This demonstration expresses the will of the Iraqi people, not just lawyers, demanding that the governor and city council leader raise the level of services," said Sajat Hussein, a 30-year-old protester who joined about 200 others outside the Kut city court.One protester at the other demonstration said the street outside his home resembled a "marsh" after rain because of inadequate sewerage.

Iraq's infrastructure for basic services such as water and electricity has been suffering from the destruction of the US-led invasion of 2003 and its aftermath, and the two decades of war and UN sanctions that preceded it.Graft has also been a persistent problem, with Transparency International rating Iraq the fourth-most corrupt country in the world.

In an interview with AFP on Wednesday, Iraq's anti-corruption czar said that instead of fighting graft Iraq's ministers preferred to hide departmental corruption.In the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, south of the capital, about 200 lawyers and other demonstrators called for jobs, better services and full food rations.

Rabia al-Masaudi, the head of Karbala's lawyers' guild, mocked the 12 dollars that the government has been giving out each month to families in lieu of rations that included cooking oil, rice, flour and sugar."We reject this amount of money," he said, adding that MPs were getting paid $11,000 per month, while many of the six million families nationwide who depend on government rations were receiving $12 a month in place of their full supplies.

Demonstrators held up football-style yellow cards as a warning to officials."Today we are carrying yellow cards, but if services are not improved we will return with red cards," Masaudi said.Karbala provincial council went on strike to protest parliament's rejection of the province's request for an exceptional hardship allowance in this year's budget, its leader said.Small demonstrations were also held in Ramadi, west of the capital, and Amara in the south.

الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
 
Iraqis protest lack of services
استعرض الموضوع السابق استعرض الموضوع التالي الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة 
صفحة 1 من اصل 1

صلاحيات هذا المنتدى:لاتستطيع الرد على المواضيع في هذا المنتدى
البيت الآرامي العراقي :: منتديات عامة متنوعة Miscellaneous General forums :: منتدى باللغة الانكليزية English Forum-
انتقل الى: