Leading Human Rights Defender Maryam Al-Khawaja Detained Upon Arrival to Bahrain
The authorities have stated that Maryam Al-Khawaja will appear before a judge on the morning of 31 August 2014. No information has been provided regarding the charges against her.
The Bahrain Center for Human rights expresses its grave concern over the denial of entry to human rights defender and co-director of the Gulf Center for Human rights, Maryam al-Khawaja, to her native country Bahrain.
Maryam al-Khawaja decided to fly to Bahrain to visit her father, the detained human rights defender, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who began an open hunger strike on August, 26. Al-Khawaja's health has been rapidly deteriorating and there is urgent concern for his well-being. (Read more: http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/7013)
Upon the arrival to Bahrain airport hours earlier, Maryam al-Khawaja was told by security forces that she doesn't have Bahraini citizenship. Al-Khawaja's Danish passport was taken and she was told to close her mobile phone or it would be confiscated.
Maryam al-Khawaja sent us the below message:
"If this letter has gone public then it means that the Bahraini authorities have not let me into the country. Due to this, I have decided to launch a water-only hunger strike and to refuse to leave the Bahraini airport. I will continue the hunger strike until I am allowed in to Bahrain to see my father.
I want to make it clear that I refuse any and all food or treatment during my hunger strike.
The BCHR calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately allow Maryam al-Khawaja to access to her family and lawyer and allow her in her country Bahrain.