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Bahrain Revolution (14Feb Revolution)

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21 April 2012

MANAMA - A Bahraini protester was found dead after clashes with riot police on Saturday, the eve of the Gulf kingdom’s Formula One Grand Prix that anti-government activists have vowed to mark with “days of rage.”

The opposition party Wefaq said the body of a man named as Salah Abbas Habib, 37, was found on the roof of a building in a rural village. It said the protester was part of a group who were beaten by police.

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As drivers prepared for the Bahrain Grand Prix, parts of the desert kingdom looked more like a war zone and one protester was discovered dead. Colin Freeman reports.

By Colin Freeman, Manama, 21 April 2012

Built very much for strength rather than speed, they were not the kind of vehicles normally seen at the world’s premiere motor racing event. Stretched along the desert highway leading to the Bahrain’s Formula One race track were dozens of armoured personnel carriers - ready to use all means necessary to ensure the event went ahead.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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21 April 2012

DUBAI (April 20, 2012): Clashes between security forces and protesters left several people wounded across Bahrain’s Shiite villages ahead of its controversial Grand Prix as authorities beefed up security for the first practice sessions Friday.

"Eighteen people were wounded when security forces fired buckshot and tear gas to disperse overnight protests in Shiite villages," said the president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, Mohammed Maskati.

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The action was taken to protest ongoing human rights abuses in the country.

By Jeff Goldman, 20 April 2012

Members of Anonymous recently took down the official Formula One Web site in advance of this weekend’s Grand Prix in Bahrain, and promised additional attacks in the coming days.

"The hacktivists are understood to have hit www.formula1.com with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, temporarily making it unavailable,” writes Digital Spy’s Andrew Laughlin.

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Torture in the Streets of Bahrain

19 April 2012

Bahrain has arrested about 80 leading democracy activists in an attempt to contain anti-government protests ahead of this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix, a rights group said on Wednesday.

"About 80 people from several villages near (the capital) Manama have been arrested since April 14," the president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, Mohammed Maskati, told AFP, adding that the "mass wave of arrests is a preventive measure" by the authorities.

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Reuters, MUNICH, GERMANY, 19 April 2012

Germany striker Mario Gomez gave Bayern Munich a last-gasp 2-1 win over Real Madrid in a histrionics-filled Champions League semi-final first leg between the swaggering European giants on Tuesday.

Referee Howard Webb had a torrid time, showing nine yellow cards, and had to deal with penalty claims, high tackles, flare-ups, baying Bayern fans, theatrics and continual protesting over his decisions.

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18 April 2012

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Security forces fired stun grenades Wednesday at anti-government protesters who swarmed into a cultural exhibition for Bahrain’s Formula One race, setting off street battles and sending visitors fleeing for cover.

It was a blow to the Gulf nation’s efforts to project stability, returning to the Grand Prix circuit a year after the race was canceled because of unrest.

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Human Rights First, 18 April 2012

Washington, DC – The Bahrain regime is targeting human rights activists in the days leading up to this weekend’s F1 Bahrain Grand Prix, according to local human rights defenders who are in contact with Human Rights First.

“In the run up to the F1, the regime is targeting and arresting activists across the country. Dozens of people have been detained,” said SaidYousif al-Muhafda of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, who was briefly detained himself on Sunday night.

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Formula One is under pressure again to call off its race in Bahrain where anti-government protesters continue to press for political reforms. Unlike last year, however, F1 is determined to hold the race—despite the potential backlash.

By: Justin Bergman, 17 April 2012

The eighty-one-year-old Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is normally just thought of as eccentric, but at the Chinese Grand Prix last week, he sounded completely out of touch with reality. Asked by a reporter if he thought Bahrain was politically stable enough to hold the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix on April 22, he was unequivocal in his response. “There’s nothing happening (in Bahrain),” he said. “I know people that live there and it’s all very quiet and peaceful.” Hours later, clashes broke out between protestors and security forces after the funeral for Ahmed Ismail, who was shot during a demonstration in March. Some of those in attendance threw firebombs at police and the authorities responded by firing tear gas and birdshot to clear the crowds. “No F1, no F1,” Ismail’s mother, Makyia Ahmed, told The Associated Press. “They killed my son in cold blood.”

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Amnesty International says government did little to bring justice to protesters after inquiry proved rights violations.

17 April 2012

Rights violations continue in Bahrain and the government’s response to the findings of an international commission of inquiry have proved inadequate, Amnesty International has said.

In a report released on Tuesday, the rights group found that Bahrain had failed to achieve justice for protesters with the piecemeal reforms implemented following the November 2011 report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).

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