The Supreme Religious Authority shows its position on the recent demonstrations in the Basra province against the acute shortage of public services.

During the second sermon of the Friday prayer for the 28th of Shawwal 1439 AH corresponding to July 13, 2018, which was held in the holy shrine of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) and was led by His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Mahdi Al-Karbalai, he stated:

Dear brothers and sisters, we are witnessing in these days in the province of Basra and some other areas, popular protests reflect the demands of many citizens, who suffer from the acute lack of public services such as the lack of electricity despite the high temperatures and the lack of sufficient potable water, and not for the rest of the necessary uses, as well as the spread of unemployment and lack of employment opportunities and decent earnings and the inefficiency of health institutions especially with the high incidence of difficult diseases in the province.

We can not but to express our solidarity with our dear citizens in their true demands, sensing their great suffering, their difficult living conditions and the obvious negligence of the officials earlier and later on improving the situation and providing services to them despite the abundance of financial resources. As if they use them properly and asked the help of the people of expertise and speciality and managed the state institutions professionally away from quotas and favoritism and stood in the face of corruption from any party or coalition, the situation would not have been as tragic as we see today.

The province of Basra is the first in the country to provide the country with financial resources, the first in the number of martyrs and wounded in the battle against the terrorist ISIL gangs, and its streets and alleys are still filled with pictures of thousands of martyrs who sacrificed their lives in order to save Iraq and protect its people and sanctities, It is never accepted that this benevolent province is one of the most miserable and deprived areas in Iraq. Many of its people suffer from the hardship of living, lack of public services, spread of diseases and epidemics, and most young people do not find opportunities to work according to their potentials and qualifications.

The officials of the central and local governments are required to deal seriously with the demands of the citizens and work urgently to achieve what can be achieved by developing a clear and thoughtful program to resolve the remaining problems at an escalating pace. This requires a firm and tough policy with the corrupt and preventing their acquisition of the resources of the country in their twisted ways, with the help of experts and talents to reach radical solutions to the current crises, away from the fabrication of pretexts and justification to hold others responsible for the harms and suffering that has been going on for years and years on the people of this province, which people have tried various political coalitions in their province and found no progress in their situation, but only lived under increasing misery and penury.

It is hoped from the dear citizen to not let their anger over the bad living conditions push them use non-peaceful and civilized methods of expressing their protests and hence they should not allow some unregulated activists or those with special agenda to attack institutions, public funds, or companies engaged in contracting with the Iraqi government, especially that any damage will be compensated from the money of the people.
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