Police in Bahrain have detained a prominent blogger and human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja during a protest in the capital Manama amid continued crackdown on anti-government protests in the sheikdom.
Video footage shows Ms Khawaja, a prominent human rights activist and the daughter of Bahrain's senior opposition figure, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who was imprisoned for life along with seven others in June, had refused to leave a sit-in at a roundabout on the Budaiya highway west of Manama after other protesters had been dispersed, witnesses said.
Zainab al-Khawaja was handcuffed and put under arrest by police along with at least one other woman protester later on Thursday, when she refused to leave the sit-in at the roundabout after other protesters were dispersed, reports said.
Zainab's arrest came just hours after the U.S. State Department's top human rights envoy visiting the Gulf island nation expressed concern about Bahrain's use of tear gas and other tough tactics against protesters.
The rally, which began on Thursday near the town of Diraz and other Shiite villages west of the capital, was marked with clashes as Bahraini security forces used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters attempting to protest alongside a highway leading to Manama.
The government said authorities were looking into the circumstances of Zainab al-Khawaja's arrest.