The Never-Ending Saga to Bring Democracy to the Middle East

At least they don’t seem to be arresting the protestors, too.

Sit-in protest in Wassit over arrest of provincial council officials
Abdul-Jabbar al-Sufrani

Wassit, Jan 22, (VOI) – Large numbers of civil servants, leaders and members of political and religious movements and civil society workers staged a sit-in on Monday outside the U.S. base Delta in Wassit province to protest the arrest of two council members.

The protestors demanded the immediate release of the detained officials and an apology from the U.S. forces that made the arrests.

A U.S. force raided the provincial council on Tuesday and detained Qassem al-Aaraji and Fadel Jassem Abul-Taiyeb, without giving any reasons. The whereabouts of the two members are not known so far.

On Friday and as the protests continued demanding a release of the detained council members, the U.S. army said the two detained members were suspected of involvement in smuggling weapons.

Hamid Majid Idi, a participant of Monday’s protest, said the sit-in was an expression of denunciation of the arrests.

Another protestor told VOI “The sit-in is public and popular and it started in the morning outside Wassit Provincial Council and the demonstrators marched to reach the U.S. base in west of Kut.

Kut, capital city of Wassit province is 180 km southeast of Baghdad.

On Thursday, the chairman of Wassit provincial council said the council decided to suspend its work as of Thursday until the release of the detained members.


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