The Bahraini government has denied entry to a Portuguese Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in spite of the fact that she held a diplomatic passport.
Ana Gomes, a member of the European Parliamentâ€™s foreign affairs and human rights committees, said she was held at Bahrain International Airport in the capital Manama for over seven hours on Sunday.
â€œIâ€™ve beenâ€¦ waiting to get a visa on arrival and that was denied to me, in spite of having a diplomatic passport and I identified myself as an MEP.â€
Gomes was on her way to Libya and wanted to enter Bahrain for a stopover when she was refused permission to stay overnight.
The Bahraini Interior Ministry did not comment on the Sunday incident in Manama.
Gomes added that she was asked by airport authorities for a contact for her stay in Bahrain and she gave the name of Zainab al-Khawaja, the daughter of prominent jailed human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months. Zainab is also in detention following her arrest during a demonstration in Manama last week.
â€œThis is one more reason why EU governments and the high representative have to clearly send (the Bahraini authorities) a very loud message that they are accountable for these human rights activists that are detained,â€ Gomes said.
Also on Sunday, a Bahraini juvenile judge issued a detention order until Thursday against 13-year-old Sayed Yasin Abduljalil for â€œinciting violenceâ€ in the northern city of Hamad Town, his lawyer said.
Abduljalil was arrested on April 27 on a street in Hamad Town as anti-regime protesters were preparing for a demonstration. His lawyer said the boy was â€œbeaten and torturedâ€ at the police station.
The latest developments come at a time when Bahraini regime forces continue their violent crackdown on peaceful protests in the country.
Bahrainis hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the death of the protesters during the popular uprising that began in the country in February 2011.