Iraqi officials warned that the protest, which organizers hope will draw 1 million people, could turn violent in what was widely seen as an attempt to limit turnout.
Iraqi security forces blanketed the streets of Iraq's capital on Wednesday, as officials used tactics including media intimidation and warnings of violence in an apparent attempt to defuse a major demonstration planned for Friday.
An Iraqi organization that monitors press freedom said uniformed Iraqi Army soldiers raided their offices early Wednesday, removing computers and files about attacks on journalists in what it called an attempt to intimidate the Iraqi media ahead of the protest.
Organizers from a cross-section of Iraqi society are calling for a million people to gather in Baghdad to demand a crackdown on corruption, better government services, and an end to repression.
Iraqi officials say they welcome any peaceful protests. But in what was widely seen as an attempt to limit turnout, Baghdad’s security spokesman warned that anyone attending could be in danger.