Followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are seen in central Baghdad, Iraq on April 30, 2016. Thousands of followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday stormed the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad and took control of the parliament building and surrounding areas, while dozens of lawmakers, officials and employees tried to escape the government district. [Xinhua]
. [Xinhua]

Thousands of women rallied on Thursday in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces to support the ongoing anti-government protests and reject violence against female protesters.

In downtown Baghdad, hundreds of women gathered in al-Tahrir Square, the epicenter of anti-government protests, holding Iraqi flags and chanting slogans demanding comprehensive reforms. They condemned the sporadic attacks by militants affiliated with some religious and political parties against women who participated in the anti-government demonstrations. The provinces of Babil, Dhi Qar, Najaf, Karbala and Basra also witnessed similar protests by women.

“We are protesting against corruption and corrupt people, and we support the protests’ rejection to tasking Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi (with forming an interim government) because we want the candidate to be politically independent,” Hadil Mohammed, a college student participating in the protest, told Xinhua. This nationwide women protest was first motivated by attacks and abductions against female activists participating in the anti-government protests. Mass anti-government demonstrations have been continuing in the capital Baghdad and other cities since October 2019, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more jobs.

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