Sunni protesters block highway in western Iraq
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||23 December 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Sunni protesters block highway in western Iraq, 23 December 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50ed3433c.html [accessed 10 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
December 23, 2012
Thousands of protesters in western Iraq have blocked the highway into neighboring Syria and Jordan to protest against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The protesters in the Sunni-dominated region are angry over the arrests earlier this month of 10 bodyguards of Sunni Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi on terrorism charges.
The protesters include local officials and religious and tribal leaders.
They were calling for "a change of course of the sectarian government" and for Maliki to step down.
The protests come at a time of heightened tensions between Iraq's Shi'ite majority and the large Sunni minority.
Sunnis accuse the Shi'ite Maliki of trying to marginalize them.
Earlier this year, Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi was sentenced to death in absentia for running death squads.
He is now in Turkey.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP