Demonstrators are demanding that those who recently killed protesters be revealed, that the shooting at protests be investigated, that the Dhi Qar police chief be dismissed, and an independent governor be appointed. Similar demands have been made before with no real action by Baghdad. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi came into office a supporter of the protests but he has found that meeting their demands and supporting them is next to impossible because they come up against the vested interests of powerful groups within the government and security forces.
It’s more than likely that Interim Governor Asadi will actually be working to close down the protests. Asadi was a member of the Crisis Cell created for Dhi Qar in December 2020 by Kazemi after Sadrists attacked the sit-in square in Nasiriya and killed eight. The Crisis Cell temporarily stopped the demonstrations in the city while the provincial police and Iraqi intelligence carried out a wave of arrests of activists. Protesters also pointed out that there were 35 bombings and assassination attempts in Dhi Qar after the Crisis Cell was appointed and nothing was done about them. Thus while Kazemi said that those that killed protesters should be held accountable the demonstrators that attacked police should be arrested. The latter is more likely to happen than the former.
Al Aalem, “Dhi Qar demonstrators reveal the reason for their rejection of Al-Asadi … and announce a position during the visit of the Pope,” 2/27/21
- “Including the withdrawal of the Sadrists and the lifting of tents .. Sources reveal the recommendations of the Al-Kazemi Committee in Dhi Qar,” 12/1/20
Al Hurra, “Nasiriya is on a hot plate … confrontations may be renewed, and Al-Kazemi promises to “hold the perpetrators accountable,”” 2/28/21
Al Mada, “Nasiriya rejects the new governor and begins a round of protests to change the police chief,” 2/27/21
Al Mirbad, “Nasiriya demonstrators suspend their protests for 3 days until their demands are met,” 2/28/21
Shafaaq News, “Security forces shoot to disperse demonstrators in Najaf,” 2/28/21