Shafaq News/ Iraq's top cleric, Ali al-Sistani called on Friday on security forces and demonstrators to remain peaceful and not be dragged into violence.
Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbalai in his Friday sermon at al-Husseini shrine read out the statement of Sistani's office, "in these crucial times of the history of Iraq where demonstrations are renewed in Baghdad and a number of provinces, we call on the demonstrators and our dear ones in the security forces to abide strictly by the peaceful demonstrations and not to use violence, riots and sabotage.”
"We call on the participants in these demonstrations to refrain from harming the security elements and attacking them in any way. We also call on them to take care of the sanctity of public and private properties and not to be exposed to government installations or the property of citizens or any other party."
Al-Karbalai added, "The attack on security personnel by throwing stones or incendiary bottles or other and damage public or private property by burning, looting and vandalism, which is not justified by religion or law is contrary to the peaceful demonstrations and away from the demonstrators fulfilling their legitimate demands and expose the perpetrators to accountability, we remind security forces that the peaceful demonstration, without prejudice to public order is a guaranteed right by the Constitution to citizens, so security forces must provide full protection to the demonstrators in the squares and streets devoted to their presence, and avoid being dragged into collision with them, but have the utmost restraint in dealing with them , While doing their duty within the framework of law enforcement and maintaining public order and not to allow chaos and encroachment on government installations and private property. "
"The religious authority's emphasis on the need for peaceful protests to be free from violence that does not only come from its interest in keeping harm away from demonstrators and security elements, but also from its keenness on the future of this country, which suffers from many complications in which we fear from sliding into violence, which lead to chaos and damage and gives way to more external interference, and becomes a forum for settling scores between some international and regional powers, and it has an unfortunate impact on what happened in some other countries of bitter situations that they could not get rid of their consequences even after many years. ".
"The real reform and the desired change in the administration of the country should be through peaceful means, which is possible if Iraqis became one hand to demand specific demands in this regard. There are many reforms agreed upon by the Iraqis and they have been demanding for a long time , the most important is anti-corruption , the adoption of clear and strict mechanisms to pursue the corrupt and retrieve the money of the people from them, sponsor social justice in the distribution of the country's wealth by abolishing or amending some laws that grant great privileges to senior officials and members of the parliament and certain groups at the expense of other people, the adoption of fair controls in employment in the government away from quotas and favoritism, taking strict measures to restrict arms to the state, to stand firm against external interference in the affairs of the country, and enact a fair election law that restores citizens' confidence in the electoral process and make them want to participate in it.
"Al- Karbalai who was reading the statement of reference added that “Once again we call on the demonstrators not to be angry at the bad situation, the spread of corruption and the absence of social justice to the point of violating the sanctity by violating the security forces or public or private property. The security men are your fathers, brothers and sons, many of whom participated in defending you in fighting ISIS terrorists and others who wanted to harm you, today they are doing their duty to maintain public order, they should not find but respect and appreciation from you, do not allow some of the bad purposes to penetrate your ranks and exploit your demonstrations to attack those dearest to us or government facilities or private property. We emphasize that the security forces must not forget that the demonstrators are your fathers , brothers and sons who went out demanding for their right to a free and dignified life and a better future in their country and their people so don’t deal with them but with kindness and gentleness. "