Maybe Washington’s allies in the Bahraini regime learned the art of reprisals from their old colonial masters. The  British used collective punishment to attack dissidents in Ireland, Kenya and elsewhere. Now family members of those who criticize the Bahrain government are being threatened, targeted, summoned and intimidated.

On Monday, on her return to Bahrain from speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, activist Ebtesam al-Saegh told me she was held at Bahrain’s airport for seven hours, questioned about her work, and her family threatened.

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