Thousands of Sunnis and Shias held a joint demonstration in Baghdad on Friday of last week. The protest was called to denounce military raids, widespread arrests and torture of Sunni Muslims at the hands of the ministry of interior police.
The demonstrators demanded the dismisal of Abu Karim Alwandi, the head of intelligence for the Badr Brigades.
Alwandi presided over the the secret Jadiriyah prison were 150 detainees had been tortured and starved.
The Badr Brigades, the militia of the pro-occupation Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, dominate the ministry of the interior.
Among the crowds were the children of men who had disappeared after they were seized by the interior ministry police, while others held up pictures of Sunni clerics assassinated as part of a campaign of intimidation.
The demonstration was organised by the Association of Muslim Clerics, which represents Sunnis, and Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, a Shia organisation that opposes the occupation.
Sheikh Abdul Salam Abdul Hussein, a Shia imam and supporter of Muqtada al-Sadr, was the latest cleric opposed to the occupation to be killed.
Sheikh Hussein was assassinated by unknown gunmen in Baghdad last Saturday.