The son of the King of Bahrain, Prince Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa is the front man of Bahrain’s sports; not democratically chosen but appointed like the rest of his family, who are in power.

The young man gained fame after the February 14 uprising last year, when he allegedly personally tortured many Bahraini athletes, who joined the ranks of protesters at massive demonstrations, demanding political change in the country.

Nasser used Twitter during the uprising, tweeting under his real name, threatening to extract revenge from those who are anti-regime. When campaigns started to call for his elimination from the London Olympics, he deleted his tweets.

Nasser Bin Hamad's empty Twitter account

66,254 followers and zero tweets. All tweets deleted last month when the prince was afraid to be banned from London for torture allegations.

Last November, ESPN created a big fuss by revisiting the issue of Bahrain’s detained and tortured athletes. In the video, the athletes speak of losing their spots in their teams, being detained, severely humiliated as traitors, having their Shia beliefs insulted, and personally tortured by the Prince.

Arrest the torturer

At the opening ceremony of the Olympics, activist Jamila Hanan (@JamilaHanan) tweeted this picture of Nasser Bin Hamad with the Foreign minister of Bahrain:

Nasser Bin Hamad at London 2012

“The guy front right with the red tie. VIP at the #Olympics. He’s a torturer. Of athletes. Prince Nasser of #Bahrain.” by @JamilaHanan

Bahrainu Citizen commented:

Kenneth Lipp noted:

Iraqi activist Khalid Ibrahim tweeted:

In return, Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Alkhawaja (daughter of imprisoned opposition figure Abdulhadi Alkhawaja) called for boycotting the Olympics:

The athletes don’t represent us

Only three of Bahrain Olympic athletes are born to Bahraini parents

Another reason for calls to boycott the Olympics are the number of naturalized athletes in the squad. During the opening ceremony, many Bahrainis tweeted those athletes have been naturalized and have no relationship to Bahrain whatsoever except holding the nationality to represent the country in games and get paid for it.

This issue is controversial in Bahrain considering how those athletes come to replace “unwanted” Bahraini athletes and because of ‘political naturalization’ that has been long practiced by the government to expand its base of supporters and to employ them in security forces.

In a comment, Bahraini Ala’a Al Shehabi tweeted:

With sarcasm, Bahraini blogger Amira Al-Hussaini wrote:

She also added:

Similarly, pro-regime Twitter user @ATEEKSTER wrote [ar]to criticize anti-regime protesters:

Too the bad Olympics doesn’t have a sport for “Molotov throwing”, we could have won the golden medal in that.

Tala responded to him saying:

Written by Mona Kareem



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