(Beirut) – Bahraini authorities denied an entry visa this morning to a Human Rights Watch researcher.
In recent years, Bahrain has denied entry to scores of human rights advocates and critical journalists, as well as the United Nations special rapporteur on torture and jailed Bahraini rights defenders.
“Bahrain has yet again shown its intolerance of human rights advocates,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
Omar Shakir, an American citizen, arrived at Manama Airport in the afternoon of May 9 and identified himself to border authorities as Human Rights Watch’s researcher for Israel and Palestine, and indicated that he had come to hold meetings on the margins of an assembly convened by FIFA, the world football federation.
Bahrain allows US passport-holders to apply for entry visas upon arrival at the airport. However, Bahraini authorities at the airport informed Shakir that a decision had been made by “security” that he was “not welcome” and ordered him to board a departing flight today.