Bahrain expels U.S. teacher, says she incited 'hatred'

Protesters march during an anti-government rally in the village of Karrana on July 5.

Story highlights

  • A human rights group identifies the teacher as Erin Kilbride
  • The teacher was deported for "activities linked to radical opposition groups"
  • An opposition bloc has called for a mass protest Wednesday
  • Tensions in the kingdom remain high after a 2011 uprising

Bahrain says an American teacher posted and tweeted items that incited "hatred" against the government and the royal family and has booted her out of the kingdom.

The Ministry of Communications said the teacher was deported for her "activities linked to radical opposition groups," as well as violating the terms of her work permit by working as an unaccredited journalist.

While the government did not name the teacher, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights identified her as Erin Kilbride.

The ministry said she published a number of articles for online journals, including one it says is linked to Hezbollah.

"We cannot have someone teaching impressionable young children who supports an internationally recognized terrorist organization like Hezbollah," said the principal at the school where the woman taught, according to the Bahrain News Agency.

Erin Kilbride (Photo credit: LINKEDIN)
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Kilbride wrote an article critical of Bahrain's crackdown on dissent for the website Muftah. The article hinted at hypocrisy by some Gulf countries for supporting revolutions -- as long as it's not in their own backyard. Muftah lists Kilbride on its staff page as the co-editor for its Yemen and Gulf States section.

The teacher's expulsion comes as Bahraini opposition groups gear up for a mass protest set for Wednesday.

Tensions in the kingdom remain high after a 2011 uprising in which the majority Shiite population protested against the ruling Sunni minority.

The protests were spurred by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

But the demonstrations failed to gain the traction of other Arab Spring uprisings after a crackdown by authorities in the island state, backed by troops from nearby Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates under the banner of the Gulf Cooperation Council.