Prominent rights activist is barred from flight to bahrain

Activist barred from flight to Bahrain

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 16:43:22 GMT

A prominent Bahraini rights activist has been barred from a flight to her homeland, Bahrain, as the Persian Gulf nation is preparing for a major anti-regime protest.

Maryam al-Khawaja was prevented from boarding a British Airways flight from Copenhagen to Bahrain on Friday over a request from Manama authorities.

The airways officials, however, gave no specific reason for stopping her from boarding. A British Airways spokesman only said the airline barred her as “we are required to comply with requests from individual government authorities.”

“I had the flight this morning from Copenhagen and everything was fine. I did the online check-in yesterday. I was blocked at the boarding and told to check with the counter because there was a problem. The lady called the office in London who told her that there was a denied boarding message as a decision from Bahrain government,” she told IBTimes UK.
Maryam, who holds dual Bahraini-Danish citizenship, was due to visit Bahrain to monitor the situation ahead of planned anti-regime protests set to take place on August 14. Manama regime has already warned that anyone participating in protests would face the “force of the law.”

She later tweeted, “What I want to know is what the regime is so afraid of that they [would] issue a ban preventing me from travelling to Bahrain.”

Maryam is the acting president of Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BHCR) and according to a statement by the organization, she was due to visit her jailed father.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was given life sentence by a military court in June 2011 for organizing and taking part in anti-regime protests.

Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, demanding political reform and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

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