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.