IRAQ: Sadr's statement calling for end to violence
Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr called for an end to the ongoing clashes between the government and his Mahdi Army militia on Sunday. Sadr made his statement after megotiatioms with representatives from the government's ruling Shiite coalition.
The pledge calls for his men to stop fighting, but demands the Iraqi security forces stop targeting his supporters and release all of his followers who have been detained in Iraqi jails. Even after his statement was released, fighting continued in some parts of Baghdad and the southern port of Basra between his supporters and Iraqi police and army. Sadr's statement is below:
(Begins with passage from Koran)
"If two parties of believers have started a fight then try reconciliation between them but if one side was insisting on attacking the other then fight the attackers until they obey God's law then do reconciliation according to God's justice."
Starting from the Sharia responsibility and to save precious Iraqi blood, the reputation of the Iraqi people, the unity of land and people and to prepare for the independence and liberation from armies of darkness and to put down the fire of sedition that the occupiers and their followers want to ignite among the Iraqi brethren, we are asking the Beloved Iraqi people to be on the level of responsibility and Sharia awareness of saving blood, Iraq and its stability and independence.
We have decided the following:
1. Cancel the armed manifestation in Basra and all over the governorates.
2. Stopping the illegal and random raids and arrests.
3. Demanding the government to apply the General Amnesty law and release all the prisoners that was not proved to be guilty and especially the prisoners of Sadr movement.
4. We announce our innocence from any one who caries the weapon and target the government and services apparatuses and establishments and parties offices.
5. Cooperating with the government apparatuses in achieving security and condemn criminals according to the legal procedures.
6. We assure that the Sadr movement doesn't have any heavy weapons.
7. Working on returning the displaced people that moved due to security events to their original places.
8. We are asking the government to take care of the Human rights on all of its procedures.
9. Working on achieving the constructional and services projects all over the governorates.
[Signed and stamped Muqtada Sadr 22/Rabi Awal/1429]
— Baghdad bureau
Photo: Iraqis chant after prayers, next to a poster of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Kufa, Iraq. Credit: AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani