Opposition vows “days of rage” during Formula One race
Alan Baldwin, Reuters, 21 April 2012
MANAMA - Crowds of masked protesters hurled petrol bombs at police who fired tear gas back in Bahrain on Saturday, turning the streets into a battle zone on the eve of a Formula One Grand Prix that demonstrators say glorifies a repressive government.
21 April 2012
People demonstrate outside Formula One headquarters in London, against the Bahrain Grand Prix. Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone declared the race would go ahead on Sunday despite ongoing anti-government demonstrations and escalating sectarian tensions in the country. (AFP PHOTO)
James Lawton, 21 April 2012
It had absolutely nothing to do with the multi-millionaire Mr. Bernie Ecclestone, of course. As far as he was concerned the ‘Arab Spring’ might be some new line in bedroom upholstery. The cash register could clatter as merrily in the tumultuous streets of Bahrain as any other place.
Associated Press, 21 April 2012
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — The discovery of a protester’s body near the scene of clashes on Saturday threatened to tip Bahrain deeper into unrest as a 14-month-old uprising overshadows the return of the Formula One Grand Prix to the strategic Gulf kingdom.
Bahrain’s Sunni rulers had pressed for the race to be held as a chance to rebuild their credibility on the world stage after it was called off last year as police and army troops cracked down on dissent.
20th April 2011
Mr Bernie Ecclestone
F1 Management Team, London
We are here to protest holding the F1 race in Bahrain and call for its cancellation
Apart from the Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship no sensible person, political or human rights body has expressed agreement to holding the F1 race in Bahrain. In addition to the security imperatives, the races is seen as an endorsement of a regime that has been found by its own created and funded investigation commission to have engaged in systematic torture, extra-judicial killings and dismal attention to the most basic of human rights. Yesterday credible and reputable media has been banned from entering Bahrain including Reuters, Agence France Press and others for fear of coverage the protests and demonstrations that have continued within the 14th February revolution. Meanwhile John Yates, the former Deputy-Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has confirmed two disturbing things; that he, as the main man controlling the Alkhalifa brutal police and security services, cannot guarantee the safety of the teams taking part in the most controversial race in Formula One history and that he may resort to the use of live ammunition against demonstrators. Bahrainis are not against F1 but against propping up the regime and breaking its isolation.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
20th April 2012
The race between human values and evil is intensifying as the F1 prepares for its most controversial race in what has now become widely known as “Bloody Bahrain”. The anger of the people has never been greater as scores of activists are swiftly rounded up, tortured and locked up by the forces of John Timoney and John Yates. Their aim is to forestall serious protests, disturbances or any kind of revolutionary act. In the past week more than seventy people have been arrested, tortured and detained for indefinite periods. The people, however, have become more defiant.
By Maran Turner Special to CNN, 20 April 2012
“Unified: One nation in celebration” is the jubilant slogan of this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain. The irony could not be harsher: while sports fans look forward to this glamorous race, one of the country’s most prominent human rights activists is close to death in protest of his ongoing unlawful detention.
Solidarity protests in the streets continue to be brutally suppressed. From the perspective of a majority of Bahrain’s population, it is not one nation. And it is certainly not celebrating.
By Souad Mekhennet and Rick Gladstone, 20 April 2012
MANAMA, Bahrain — The Sunni monarchy has been hoping that the Formula One Grand Prix, its showcase annual event, would restore Bahrain’s stature as a stable Persian Gulf kingdom, blighted after months of antigovernment protests by the Shiite majority that led to the cancellation of the race last year.
Instead, the opposite seems to be happening. While Bahraini officials vow that the Grand Prix will be held as planned on Sunday, Shiite opposition groups and rights organizations have denounced the race as a public relations stunt that has sought to mask what they call the monarchy’s failures to address causes of political discontent here.
In a SPIEGEL interview, Zainab al-Khawaja, the daughter of detained Bahraini protest leader Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, calls for this weekend’s Formula One race in the country to be cancelled. She says the protests in the Gulf state will continue until Bahrainis are given the right to “self-determination.”
Interview conducted by Souad Mekhennet, 20 April 2012
On Sunday, Formula One racing is set to return to Bahrain, but the country and opposition are divided over the event. Wefaq, the leading Shiite opposition group, has said it is not opposed to staging the race. Jasim Husain, a former member of parliament and representative of the group even visited the racetrack on Thursday to give the event a boost.
By Simeon Kerr, 20 April 2012
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Bahrain has become the forgotten uprising of the Arab spring.
21 April 2012
THE acrimony and protests surrounding this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix come after more than a year of unrest in the country.
Thousands of anti-government protesters began their demonstrations against the ruling al-Khalifa royal family in February last year.
The “Day of Rage” on 14 February, 2011, was inspired by popular upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia, as they called for greater political freedoms in the Gulf kingdom.
21 April 2012
Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have clashed with police in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, ahead of the Formula-one Grand Prix on Sunday.
Masked youths hurled petrol bombs at police, who had stopped them marching to Pearl Square - a gathering point during an uprising last year.
20 April 2012
Bahrain crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa says cancelling Sunday’s Grand Prix would “empower extremists” and believes hosting a GP unites people and is important both economically and socially for Bahrain.
Unrest in the Gulf state has led to calls for the race to be called off for the second year running, while the Force India team missed Friday’s second practice session as they wanted to return to their hotel before dark.
21 April 2012
MANAMA (AFP) - Thousands of people protested in a Shiite suburb of Bahrain’s capital on Formula One practice day as the Gulf kingdom’s crown prince insisted Sunday’s race would go ahead to avoid “empowering extremists.”