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Prominent Bahraini activist allowed to enter Egypt

Maryam Al-Khawaja enters the country to visit April 6 Youth Movement after being detained at Cairo Airport for several hours

Ahram Online , Monday 2 Apr 2012
Maryam Al Khawaja
Maryam Al Khawaja (Photo:Bahrain Center for human rights)
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Cairo airport authorities have allowed Bahraini activist Maryam Al-Khawaja to enter Egypt after detaining her for hours following her arrival early Monday from Poland.

An official source at the airport stated that during her detention, and as steps were being taken to deport her, the 25-year-old activist was questioned by security officials on why she was visiting Egypt. Al-Khawaja stated that she was visiting the April 6 Youth Movement.

Maryam, who has thousands of followers on the micro-blogging site Twitter, has already been posting about her experience in the Cairo airport on Twitter, and a group of Egyptian activists went to the airport to see if they could be of assistance to her.

The head of the foreign relations office of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, where Al-Khawaja works contacted the Bahraini embassy in Cairo who said that they could help her because she was blacklisted and banned from entering Egypt.

Maryam Al-Khawaja is the daughter of prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdel-Hady Al-Khawaja who is now in prison and has been on hunger strike for over 50 days.

During the uprising in 2011 Bahraini protesters were demanding political reforms in the country that were met by huge security crackdown from the Bahraini and Gulf states regimes. Maryam Al-Khawaja has over the past year been a prominent advocate of the Bahraini uprising and critic of the state's abuses of human rights.

This is not her first visit to Egypt; she last visited in 2011.

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