Iraqis defy ban to rally for reforms in Baghdad

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr wave the national flag during a demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on July 15, 2016Thousands of Iraqis defied warnings from authorities and rallied in the heart of Baghdad on Friday, renewing pressure on the government to carry out reforms targeting corruption and sectarianism. Although protests over the past year have resulted in repeated promises of reform, little in the way of concrete progress has been made, as those in a position to effect change benefit from the existing system. Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who had called for the demonstration, made a brief appearance at the rally in Tahrir Square, which was packed with flag-waving protesters.

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