Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council ordered courts on Sunday to release all protesters jailed since anti–government demonstrations erupted last October. The Council cited Article 38 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to protest so long as demonstrations do not involve acts “contrary to the law” or otherwise violate the Constitution.
This statement comes days after Prime Minister Mustafa al–Kadhimi addressed the nation, promising to “hold to account all those who shed Iraqi blood” during months of political unrest and urging parliament to change early election electoral laws.
Al–Kadhimi’s address spurred a new wave of nationwide protests on Sunday demanding political reform and immediate government action.
Though protesters remain skeptical of al–Kadhimi’s motives, the anti–corruption movement forges ahead. Protesters remain largely undeterred by police brutality and the looming threat of the COVID–19 pandemic.