Iraq’s Sadr Closes his Movement’s Institutions for a Year
In a surprise move, Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr closed his Facebook account, writing "goodbye" on a black background on the social media site.
Not only that, but the political leader decided to close institutions associated with his political movement for a year.
According to Sadr’s office, the decision will not affect the shrine of Saeed Said Mohammed Sadr and his sons, private offices, or the Saraya al-Salam brigades.
Sadr decided to “close all institutions affiliated with the Honorable Sadrist line for a whole year,” a statement released by the office read.
Sadr has been active on social media where he often commented on developments on the ground or in politics.
The closure follows intense discussions over the naming of a new prime minister.
The cleric had voiced his rejection of all candidates.
Sadr’s move followed an assassination attempt which targeted the son of Judge Jaafar Al-Mousawi, a spokesman for the cleric.
The Sadrist movement and its Sairoon block did not comment on the incident.
Iraq has been rocked by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to resign.
According to Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights, at least 460 Iraqis have been killed and 17,000 have been injured since the protests began Oct. 1.
A figure close to Sadr said that Iraq was now at a crossroads where the revolution could succeed, or continue without a leadership and clear goals, or fail and see corrupt officials remain in power. Each of these three scenarios has its own repercussions.