Bahrain Crackdown: 3 Detained Over UK Horse Show Protests
An activist said Bahrain had detained Saturday family members of three UK-based fellow campaigners over protests targeting the Gulf King's attendance at a royal horse show in Britain.
The activists had been protesting against King Hamad's attendance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. State-run Bahrain News Agency photographs have shown King Hamad with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Dubai ruling family members.
Sayyed Ahmed Alwadaei, the director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, said those detained include his sister. She had received a call summoning her to Muharraq police station for interrogation on Saturday morning.
"This is a new low by the Bahraini authorities: blackmailing activists by detaining their family members in Bahrain," said Alwadaei.
The father and sister of two other activists also informed their family members that they were being held.
A spokesman for the Bahraini interior ministry declined to comment.
Family members of Alwadaei had been targeted by authorities in Bahrain since he jumped on a car carrying King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa during an earlier trip to London.
Alwadaei said his family and those of other activists continue to be targeted to limit public dissent against the country's rulers amid a major crackdown on dissent in Bahrain in years after its rulers crushed its 2011 protests.
Bahrain is home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet and an under-construction British naval base.
Since the beginning of a government crackdown last year, activists had been imprisoned or forced into exile. The kingdom also began trying civilians in military tribunals.
Independent news gathering on the island also has grown more difficult, with the government refusing to accredit two Associated Press journalists and others.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team