US teacher deported from Bahrain over tweets

Comms ministry says Erin Kilbride published articles deemed to incite hatred against gov't
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 11 Aug 2013 09:54 AM

A US citizen working as a teacher has reportedly been deported from Bahrain for writing "radical" Twitter and website posts.

Erin Kilbride, of Portland, left the kingdom on Saturday, officials at the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights said in comments published by Associated Press.

It also quoted the Bahrain's Ministry of State for Communications as saying it had received complaints about Kilbride.

The ministry said an investigation found that Kilbride worked "illegally as an unaccredited journalist" in violation of her visa.

Kilbride was "using Twitter and a number of websites to publish articles on Bahrain that were deemed to incite hatred against the government and members of the royal family," the ministry was quoted as saying by AP.

The ministry also said her landlord apparently reported Kilbride for having a flag of Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim political party and militant group in Lebanon.

Kilbride did not return requests for comment from The Associated Press.

On August 1, the government toughened the country's anti-terrorism laws, including imposing longer prison terms and stripping perpetrators of Bahraini nationality, which human rights groups said could lead to a crackdown on protesters.

The new laws ban demonstrating in the capital, Manama, without permission from the security services and mandate jail for anyone who carries anything resembling explosives or firecrackers in a public place.

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