Officials in Bahrain have prevented the wife and infant son of a London-based dissident from leaving the country to join him.

It is the latest example of a crackdown by the Gulf state, which has been criticised by human rights groups for imposing travel bans and arresting its opponents.

Duaa Alwadaei was prevented by Bahraini immigration officers from boarding a London-bound flight on Wednesday. The move came hours after her husband, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Bird), protested against a visit by the king of Bahrain to Downing Street.

Alwadaei claims that during a seven-hour interrogation, a senior official told his wife she was being questioned and subjected to a travel ban because of his work. On the same day his wife was detained, Alwadaei had attended the protest outside No 10 against the visit of the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa. Two protesters were briefly held by police.

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