Iraqis protest against Bahrain in Baghdad, Basra

Protesters called on the Bahraini government to stop suppressing the Shia community in the country.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – An Iraqi Shia demonstration was held in Baghdad to protest against what they described as the oppression of Shias in Bahrain.

On Wednesday thousands of Shias gathered outside the Bahrain Embassy in Baghdad and its Consulate in Basra to protest policies of the Bahraini government against the Shia community and clerics in the country.

On Tuesday, Muqtada al-Sadr, the influential Shia cleric in Iraq, called upon male supporters and other Shia political parties to march on to the Bahraini Embassy in Baghdad and the Consulate in Basra on Wednesday. A women’s protest was also scheduled at same the locations.

“Following the continuous suppression of the Shia people of Bahrain and its religious leaders, it has become necessary for us as Iraqis to support them and to show the world the extent of interconnectedness among oppressed people,” Sadr said in a statement.

The protesters, holding Iraqi and Bahraini flags, were chanting against the Bahraini government and the ruling family.

According to a Kurdistan24 reporter in Baghdad, the protesters called upon the Bahraini government and its embassy in Baghdad to review policies that suppress Shia groups in the country and their spiritual leaders.

On Tuesday, “Bahraini security forces on Tuesday raided the home of the kingdom's Shia Muslim spiritual leader and shot dead at least one demonstrator during the operation,” Reuters reported.

Ayatollah Isa Qassi, the Shia spiritual leader in Bahrain, was not among the 50 people arrested during the raid.


Editing by G.H. Renaud