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Bahrain wields travel curbs in crackdown on opponents-activists

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After a border official stopped him leaving Bahrain last week, citing a security order, Mohammed al-Tajer said he checked with the departments in charge of passports and investigations and was told no travel ban was in place.

The 50-year-old lawyer, who had been planning a short visit to Saudi Arabia, was not surprised. He had joined a growing list of people confined to their country as part of what rights groups describe as an attempt to crush the opposition.

Tajer said some people found out when they headed to the airport last month to fly to Geneva to attend a meeting by the U.N. Human Rights Council. Others were informed when they tried to cross the King Fahd Causeway to Saudi Arabia last week.

"There are 17 of us -- some of them are not rights activists or well known figures," Tajer, who has defended prominent Bahraini opposition activists, told Reuters.

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