Supporters of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr shout slogans during a protest against corruption at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
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Thousands of Iraqis defied warnings from authorities and rallied in the heart of Baghdad Friday, renewing pressure on the government to carry out reforms targeting corruption and sectarianism. Although protests over the past year have resulted in repeated promises of reform, little in the way of concrete progress has been made, as those in a position to effect change benefit from the existing system.Sadr called for measures including the dismissal and trial of corrupt officials, an end to sectarian and political party quotas through which positions are shared out, and the formation of a government of technocrats, according to the remarks.He has organized repeated protests calling for reforms, during which demonstrators have on several occasions breached Baghdad's Green Zone, a fortified area that is home to key government institutions and foreign embassies.
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