Why did BA refuse to allow three British journalists from Channel 4 News permission to board a BA aircraft departing Bahrain, a decision that caused them to be arrested?
As per Channel 4 News:
"Jonathan Miller, foreign affairs correspondent for Channel 4 News, and his team have been deported from Bahrain following their release from detention.
As per Jonathan Miller's Twitter feed:The correspondent, cameraman, Joe Sheffer, and producer Dave Fuller, were arrested yesterday evening alongside their driver, Ali, and activist Dr Ala'a Shehabi while filming a small demonstration in a village.
Last night, authorities in Bahrain released the group. The three Channel 4 members were driven to Bahrain airport at "breakneck" speed in a police van to be deported back to the UK, according to Miller.
However fears quickly grew for the fate of the driver, who was violently attacked by police before being taken away separately. The channel's head of foreign news, Ben de Pear, has urged Britain's foreign secretary to raise the way in which he was treated with Bahrain.
After British Airways staff initially refused Miller and his team permission to board an aircraft after saying the group's "documentation [was] not in order", Miller said, they were flown back on another plane early this morning.
Dr Shehabi, an economics lecturer, was released some seven hours after she was taken into custody.
"OK...Channel 4 three finally being deported aboard a non-British airline," Miller tweeted this morning. "Goodbye Bahrain. I met some lovely people but not many were cops."
A spokesperson for Channel 4 News said: "We are pleased to confirm that our team is safe and on their way back to the UK. We also have confirmation that the team's driver - who they saw assaulted by Bahraini authorities, and human rights activist, Dr Ala'a Shehabi, have also been released."
The team's trip to the Gulf nation co-incided with the Grand Prix - the target of violent protests in the run up to the event. Amid heavy security, the event passed off with skirmishes and a number of arrests, after activists were denied entry to a zone surrounding the circuit.
Explaining the circumstances leading up to the arrest, Miller said that they had been operating without official accreditation.
He said: "So when we were caught filming a planned demonstration in one of the Shia villages, they have not been particularly pleasant. They've been very aggressive towards me, my crew and driver and Dr Ala'a Shehabi, a prominent human rights activist.
"We were actually heading back to where we were staying to edit the piece we'd compiled for tonight - we'd met villagers in a Shia suburb off the main city, who were demonstrating night after night."
Responding to a tweet from the minister, who had expressed concern over the fate of the team, Mr de Pear said: "The police treated the driver badly. I trust these are issues brought up in consultations."
Channel 4 crew being deported from Bahrain wish to thank British Airways for leaving us stranded, refusing permission to board. Cheers BA."
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