Bahrain lifts travel ban on Maryam al-Khawaja

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Bahrain court lifted Wednesday a travel ban on Maryam al-Khawaja, a prominent activist, charged with allegedly assaulting airport police as she flew in to try to visit her jailed father, a judicial source said.

Maryam al-Khawaja has been a vocal critic of the Bahrain authorities' crackdown on 2011 protests that led to her opposition leader father Abdulhadi al-Khawaja being jailed for life.

“She was denied entry at the airport, and she was asked to wait there for a long time, then told she had to leave Bahrain,” Nedal al-Salman told Al-Akhbar English back in August.

Salman said the Bahraini government’s version of the events was false.

Khawaja was arrested on arrival at the airport on August 30 and charged with assaulting a policewoman.

The travel ban was imposed when she was granted bail on September 18.

The court accepted her lawyer's request that it be lifted taking into consideration her work commitments abroad, the judicial source said.

Khawaja, the co-director of the Gulf Center For Human Rights (GCHR) which has offices in Copenhagen and Beirut - like her father - has Danish citizenship, has been a familiar figure in Washington, regularly meeting members of Congress and administration officials.

In 2011, she testified as a witness at a congressional hearing on Bahrain.

Her father was jailed for life following protests that year against the Gulf state's rulers.

Bahraini security forces crushed the protests in mid-March 2011, but smaller demonstrations frequently take place in villages, triggering clashes with police.

Washington is a long-standing ally of the ruling al-Khalifa dynasty, and Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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