Exiled Bahrain Rights Activist to Try to Enter Her Country

Maryam Al-Khawaja is better known as @MARYAMALKHAWAJA, a prolific tweeter about human rights issues in her home country of Bahrain. She is the acting director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights because the director Nabeel Rajab and a past director–her father — have been jailed by the monarchy for the past two years. Her father has received a life sentence on “terrorism” charges; though in reality they lead peaceful protests against the monarchy during the uprising two years ago.

Maryam Al-Khawaja has been in exile in Denmark, rightfully fearful for her safety.

Tomorrow, she will attempt to visit her family and colleagues in prison.

The Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights; and Deputy Director for the Gulf Center for Human Rights, Maryam Al-Khawaja, has decided to travel to Bahrain tomorrow Friday, 11 January 2013.

The primary purpose of Maryam Al-Khawaja’s trip to Bahrain will be to visit her father and uncle in prison as well as to see family members. Additionally, she will be observing the human rights situation on the ground as her colleagues Nabeel Rajab and Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah remain in prison.

She arrives in Bahrain at 8pm Bahrain time on Friday and will be staying there for approximately two weeks. Al-Khawaja will be traveling with her Danish passport, getting a visa at the Bahraini airport, due to the expiration of her Bahraini passport.

Maryam Al-Khawaja had previously chosen to remain in self imposed exile for safety and security reasons due to the necessity of being abroad for her work and for safety and security reasons. While the same security and safety concerns are still valid, Al-Khawaja found it necessary to conduct this trip for the reasons mentioned above.

Maryam Al-Khawaja should be reachable on email and her Danish number, and will return to her work in Denmark on the 26th of January 2013.

This is an exceptionally brave person. I encourage folks to follow her on Twitter. I’m sure she will be tweeting her ordeal as she tries to obtain a visa.