Bahrain deports 4 foreign ‘activists’

Bahrain announced the deportation of four foreign activists for "taking part in illegal demonstrations," bringing to 12 the number expelled over the past week.

The four were deported for "lying on immigration forms" as their "visas were issued for the purposes of tourism but all were participating in illegal demonstrations," the official BNA news agency reported late on Friday.

The news agency did not specify the nationalities of those deported but the main Shia opposition group Al-Wefaq said they included one American and one Briton.

Last Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the launch of month-long Shia-led pro-democracy protests that were bloodily crushed by the kingdom's Sunni minority rulers with the help of a Saudi-led military intervention.

On the anniversary, the authorities announced the expulsion of eight Americans. Three days earlier, they deported two more.

The authorities have multiplied restrictions around the anniversary not only for foreign activists but also the international media, denying press visas to several news organisations including AFP.

Tiny but strategic Bahrain is the home base of the US Fifth Fleet.

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