Bahrain bars Human Rights Watch staffer from FIFA congress amid crackdown



The Bahraini authorities have refused entry visa to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) activist scheduled to attend the annual FIFA congress in Bahrain, as the Gulf kingdom's brutal crackdown on dissent persists.

HRW’s Director Omar Shakir stated on Wednesday that he was barred from entering Bahrain with his US passport after being interrogated at the country’s Manama airport on the aims of his visit. 

Eventually, the officials told the HRW representative he could not enter the country since he was not on an official FIFA list, and one angry Bahraini official told him, "If you don't go buy your ticket now, we'll do it by force."

The development came a day after Bahraini rights activists and organizations issued a statement strongly condemning Bahraini rulers for hosting an official Israeli delegation attending the FIFA congress.



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