Four Americans have been arrested in Bahrain for entering the country using false information and allegedly participating in “attacks on police,” according to a police statement released Monday.
— John Bacon (@jmbacon) February 15, 2016
Bahrain officials said some of the arrested Americans were members of the international media but “had not registered with the concerned authority and were involved in illegal activities.”
The U.S. Embassy in Bahrain said it was “aware of the arrest of four U.S. citizens in Bahrain” on Sunday but provided no further comment because of privacy concerns.
All four Americans, including one female, entered the country between February 11 and 12, providing false information that they were tourists, the Bahrain Interior Ministry said.
The Americans’ presence coincided with rallies marking the fifth anniversary of Bahrain’s 2011 uprising.
— Rori Donaghy (@roridonaghy) February 15, 2016
Bahrain is a small island nation with a predominantly Shiite population ruled by a Sunni minority. Sunday’s demonstrations took place in, Sitra, a predominantly Shiite neighborhood south of the capital, Manama, known for sporadic protests since the 2011 pro-reform movement inspired by theArab Spring.
Bahrain police said they dispersed the rioters in accordance with Bahraini law, further accusing one of the arrested Americans of concealing his or her face “with a cloth and participating in attacks on police alongside other rioters in Sitra.”
The other three Americans were arrested at a security checkpoint in the area, police said.
The case has been referred to the public prosecutor.