Careful what you tweet – else you may be barred from entering a country

Liberal Democrat Jonathan Fryer has been barred from Bahrain, in part because of what he has tweeted in the past about the country.

He explains that:

I flew in, hoping for a couple of days of winding down before doing some work elsewhere in the Gulf only to find that nowadays even those of us with European passports don’t just hand over 5 dinars and get a visa in 30 seconds.

A significant number of people coming in on my flight (and those following) were taken aside while their documents were consulted against the Immigration Department’s records. My passport was held for almost four hours before a senior officer came out, bearing documents from my file, including printouts of tweets I published last year expressing dismay at the crackdown on demonstrations at Manama’s Pearl Roundabout and the security forces’ intervention in a major hospital where some of the wounded were being treated.

Politely but firmly the officer said I would not be allowed into the country.

Thankfully, Jonathan was able to re-arrange his plans and head to Qatar instead. It’s hard to see what Bahrain has gained from doing all this.

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