Friday, February 25, 2011

Shia clerics back right to peaceful protests

'Iraq’s senior Shiite Muslim clerics affirmed the right to peaceful demonstrations as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told Iraqis to stay home after five people were reported killed in clashes with security forces.

“Demonstrations on the streets of Iraq are taking place because people are collectively saying that they want to be heard,” Sheikh Ahmed Al-Safi told thousands of Muslims gathered at Imam Hussein Square in the southern city of Karbala today. “The constitution guarantees the right of protests and it is the right of any person to protest peacefully.”

Al-Safi is a spokesman for Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite religious leader.'

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