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PORTSIDE  February 2012, Week 3

PORTSIDE February 2012, Week 3

Subject:

Bahrain Deports Four Foreign Activists

From:

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Date:

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 15:53:42 -0500

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Bahrain Deports Four Foreign Activists

	Observers for rights groups expelled amid
	security clampdown to prevent mass pro-
	democracy protests in capital.

Aljazeera 
February 18, 2012

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/02/201221882048795168.html

Photo:http://tinyurl.com/75le78u

Bahrain announced the deportation of four foreign
activists for "taking part in illegal demonstrations"
in the country, adding to a number of deportations of
activists over the past week.

The four activists were deported for "lying on
immigration forms" as their "visas were issued for the
purposes of tourism but all were participating in
illegal demonstrations", the official BNA news agency
reported late on Friday.

The news agency did not specify the nationalities of
those deported. The main Shia opposition group, Al-
Wefaq, said they included one American and one Briton.

Police detained, and later deported, Medea Benjamin, an
American with the observer group Witness Bahrain.
Elaine Murthagh, an Irish-British activist, was also
deported.

Benjamin and Murthagh, joined a protest with a group of
about 150 women that clashed with riot police, which
including a group of female officers, for several
minutes on Friday.

More deportations

Police told the group to disperse, then threw a round
of stun grenades and tear gas at the women. One woman
was dragged away by female riot police after she was
pepper-sprayed.

"These women are protesting peacefully," Benjamin
shouted as she was being dragged away.

Reuters news agency reports that at least 10 foreign
activists have been deported this week. An opposition
member said as many as 15 foreign activists had been
deported in the last five days.

The authorities have recently increased restrictions
for foreign activists and international media, denying
press visas to several news organisations.

Bahraini police also deployed a water cannon on Friday
and armoured vehicles against an anti-government
demonstration of around 500 people from the majority
Shia population following a funeral.

Thousands protest

Bahrain has imposed a security clampdown this week in a
bid to avert mass protests on the anniversary of the
February 14 pro-democracy uprising last year in which
four people were killed.

The clampdown also aimed to prevent Shias from reaching
the Pearl Roundabout, a junction in capital Manama that
has became the focal point of protests.

Nabeel Rajab, an activist with the Bahrain Centre for
Human Rights told Al Jazeera: "The Bahrain government
launched armoured vehicles... almost in each and every
village in Bahrain."

Rajab said there have been continuous protests in
Bahrain since February 14.

"Tens of thousands of people came out in the street,
many of them were heading to the Pearl Roundabout and
they were attacked," Rajab said.

___________________________________________

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