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Sistani backs Iraqi government crackdown on outlawed militias

Top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani backs early elections and calls on the Iraqi government to take action against the outlawed militias and mafia active in the country.
A picture of Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is seen at a shop in a market in the capital Baghdad on January 18, 2020. (Photo by SABAH ARAR / AFP) (Photo by SABAH ARAR/AFP via Getty Images)

During a meeting Sept. 13 with the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called on the Iraqi government to go ahead with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's plans for early elections and to impose rule of law, confiscate illegal arms, stop certain groups from dividing Iraq into spheres of influence forcibly under different excuses, fight corruption unselectively and seek justice for all who were killed, injured or abducted during the ongoing reform protests in Iraq.

“The parliamentary elections scheduled for next year … must be provided with the necessary conditions that result in a high degree of credibility, so that the citizens are encouraged to participate in the elections widely,” Sistani said.

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