The text of the Supreme Religious Authority statement on the recent events that accompanied the demonstrations.

The representative of the supreme religious authority read during the sermon of the Friday prayer of the 9th Rabi’ Thani 1441 AH corresponding to December 6, 2019, held at the holy shrine of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) the text received from the office of the supreme religious authority in Najaf.

His Eminence Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i said: Dear brothers and sisters ... I read to you the text received from the office of his eminence Sayed al-Sistani in Najaf:

“In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

There is no doubt that the popular movement, if its scope widens and includes the various groups, will be an effective means to pressure those in power to make way for real reforms in the administration of the country, but the basic condition for this is that it should not be drawn into acts of violence, chaos, and sabotage, as in addition that these acts are not justified legally and religiously, they will have adverse reversals on the reformist movement and lead to a decline in solidarity little by little, despite all the precious blood that was shed in order to achieve its legitimate goals, so we must be aware of this and be careful not to give an excuse to those who do not want reform to refrain from achieving it from this side .

Maintaining the peacefulness of demonstrations and being free from acts of violence and sabotage is extremely important, and it is a joint responsibility of all, as it falls on the security forces to protect peaceful demonstrators and allow them to express their demands freely. Also, the demonstrators' responsibility is to not allow the saboteurs to infiltrate in their ranks and attack the security forces or public or private property and cause harm to the interests of citizens.

Supporting and respecting the security forces, enhancing their morale, and encouraging them to play their role in maintaining security and stability in the required manner is the duty of everyone, as these people are indispensable in avoiding chaos and disturbing public order. And everyone has noticed what happened in some areas when the security forces could not do what is expected of them in this regard, until the honorable men of the tribes rushed and played a prominent role in protecting civil peace and preventing chaos and devastation. All thanks and appreciation for that to them, but work should be done so matters return to their natural context in all regions, starting from the responsibility of the official security forces to maintain security, stability and protection of government installations and citizens' property from saboteurs' attacks, with its commitment to act with full professionalism in dealing with all protest actions so as not to repeat the tragedies of the past weeks.

We condemn - once again - everything that occurred during the previous days from the shedding of innocent blood and the damage of private property and public institutions. We call upon all those affected to take legal procedures to claim their rights, and we demand the judiciary to hold accountable and punish anyone who committed a criminal act - from any party - As determined by law.

Here we reiterate the warning from those who are plotting to wreak havoc in the country and seek to exploit the protests demanding reform to achieve certain goals that undermine the higher interests of the Iraqi people and are not consistent with its original values.

We also refer to what was previously confirmed by the religious authority that it is there for all Iraqis without a difference between their affiliations and orientations, and works to secure their public interests as it can, and its title should not be used by any of the groups participating in the demonstrations demanding reform so as not to be counted supporting one group and not others.

In conclusion, we hope that the head of the new government and its members will be chosen within the constitutional period and according to the aspirations of citizens away from any external interference, bearing in mind that the religious authority is not party to any discussions on this and has no role in any way whatsoever.
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