Bahrain expels US filmmaker

AFP, Monday 16 Jul 2012

Bahrain announces it deported a US filmmaker, who they say has ties to the International Solidarity Movement

Bahrain announced on Saturday that it had deported US filmmaker Jen Marlowe, accusing her of falsifying her visa application and shooting a documentary without permission.

Marlowe, a Seattle-based documentary filmmaker who arrived in the country around a week ago, told immigration officials that she had come "to help a friend who had recently had a baby," the information affairs authority said.

"But investigation showed the names and addresses she gave were fabricated... While in Bahrain she has been shooting a documentary film that requires a proper visa permitting one to work in the kingdom," it added.

"Marlowe is affiliated with members of the International Solidarity Movement [ISI] organisation, some of whom had resorted to similar illegal entry tactics in February of this year," the Bahraini authority said.

The filmmaker was briefly detained and questioned before being flown to Jordan.

In February, Manama announced the expulsion of 12 activists, most of them US citizens, who had come from abroad to participate in "illegal" protests to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of Shiite-led protests in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom.

The Bahraini authorities rejected a visa request by AFP and other international media to cover the first anniversary of the pro-democracy Shiite-led protest that was brutally crushed.

Last year's crackdown led to the deaths of 35 people, including five security personnel and five detainees who were tortured to death, an independent commission of inquiry appointed by King Hamad found.

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