PM Abadi reportedly rejects Bahraini request to send Shia opposition figure to Najaf

Iraqi Prime Minister has reportedly refused an official request from Bahrain to send Shia influential opposition figure from Manama to Najaf, news reports mentioned.

According to Al Mayadeen satellite TV channelís website, ďa mediator delivered a request from Bahraini authorities few days ago to send Bahraini Shia Cleric Ayatollah Eissa Qassem to Najaf but PM Haidar al-Abadi totally refused.Ē

On Wednesday, Iraqis staged protests outside the Bahraini embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Najaf to urge release of Qassem.

The demonstrations came in response to the Iraqi influential Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadrís call, who called on Tuesday for staging protests outside the Bahraini embassy and the consulate to condemn the arrest of aides of Qassem in the Gulf kingdom.

Earlier on Tuesday, news reports mentioned that Bahraini security forces invaded Qassemís home located west of Manama and arrested everyone inside. The raid came shortly after Qassemís fans staged protests in support at his home village of al-Diraz, and two days after a top criminal court sentenced him to one-year in prison and freezed his assets.

Qassem was stripped of his citizenship in 2016, was among those arrested.

Despite being ruled by a Sunni Muslim dynasty, Bahrain is home to a Shia majority.