10-22-2013, 03:29 PM
In August and October 2013 thousands of Iraqis went to the streets across the country to protest the pensions that government lawmakers receive. Some were met by friendly officials and went about their business peacefully. In other provinces like Baghdad and Dhi Qar the security forces cordoned off the center of the cities, harassed, beat, arrested, and shot activists and reporters. One cause of the confrontations was the fact that the authorities have denied permits to organizers. Another day of marches is planned for October 26, and again the central government has turned down a request to legally assemble. This is just the latest sign that Iraq’s leaders do not feel that they should answer to the public.