Maryam Al-Khawaja, Acting Director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, is scheduled to arrive in Bahrain later this evening, around 8pm Bahrain Time (AST). Al-Khawaja, whose father received a life sentence last year on “terrorism” charges, faces an uncertain reception in Bahrain. She is travelling on her Danish passport, but human rights advocates are worried that she faces arrest or detention upon arrival.
A press release detailing her visit was issued yesterday on her website:
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.