Bahrain activist says stopped from flying to Gulf kingdom
September 15, 2023 08:47 PM
She was travelling with a group of other rights activists, including Amnesty International secretary general Agnes Callamard and Olive Moore, interim director of rights group Front Line Defenders.
"We tried to check in here at the BA counter and we were told that they are not allowed to board us," Khawaja said in a video on X, formerly Twitter.
"Despite my being a Bahraini citizen I was told that I have to speak to Bahraini immigration if I want to get a boarding pass to Bahrain," she added.
British Airways said, "All airlines are legally obliged to comply with immigration control laws and entry requirements for customers as set by individual countries".
A government spokesperson in Bahrain added, "The Kingdom of Bahrain welcomes all visitors, provided they meet the necessary entry requirements.
"However, as with other countries, Bahrain reserves the right to refuse entry, if deemed necessary."
Khawaja is worried about the health of her father, Danish-Bahraini citizen Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who she said has resumed a hunger strike in protest at lack of access to medical care.
Khawaja, 62, received a life sentence in 2011 for organising Shiite-led protests against the government.
He is one of scores of dissidents imprisoned since authorities backed by a Saudi military force crushed the demonstrations.