(AP) MANAMA, 22 April 2012
Bahrain - Under heavy security, Bahrain’s embattled leaders toasted the return Sunday of the coveted Formula One Grand Prix even as riot police used armored vehicles to virtually seal off opposition strongholds and fight hit-and-run clashes in the Arab Spring’s longest-running street battles.
The contrasts put the Gulf kingdom’s divisions in stark relief: The Sunni rulers basking in the F1 glamor at the desert circuit while security forces imposed lockdown tactics against Shiite neighborhoods at the heart of the more than 14-month-old uprising.
AFP, 17 April 2012
DUBAI: Amnesty International said Tuesday that Bahrain had failed to deliver on promises of political reform after a deadly crackdown last year, as controversy mounted over the kingdom’s hosting of the Formula One Grand Prix next weekend.
In a 58-page report released just days before the Gulf kingdom is due to host the prestigious race, which was cancelled amid last year’s unrest, the London-based watchdog said authorities “have failed to provide justice for victims of human rights violations.”
17 April 2012
LONDON — Two protesters climbed onto the roof of the Bahraini Embassy in London on Monday, unfurling a banner in a protest aimed at the Gulf state’s ruling family.
An Associated Press photographer saw two men waving a flag on the building’s roof. On Twitter, a user identifying himself as Moosa Abd Ali said the activists had occupied what he called the “Al Khalifa den,” a reference to Bahrain’s ruling family.
Press Association, UK, 17 April 2012
Formula One chiefs have been urged by Labour to cancel this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix amid continued clashes between police and anti-government protesters.
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said that proceeding with the event would “send the wrong signal”.
Human rights are still being violated in Bahrain despite promises of reform, according to the campaign group Amnesty International.
16 April 2012
As the country prepares to host the Grand Prix, Amnesty warns “no-one should be under any illusions that the country’s human rights crisis is over”.
“Their reforms have only scratched the surface,” said Amnesty’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.
More than 40 people died in last year’s unrest and 1,600 were arrested.
Scoop Independent News
by Finian Cunningham, April 15, 2012
“A bunch of rich people having fun while others are being killed,” is how one motor-racing fan voiced his disgust over the decision for the Formula One Grand Prix to go ahead in Bahrain next weekend. For the past several weeks, there has been much speculation in the media about whether the sporting event watched by millions around the world would take place in Bahrain given the kingdom’s lethal crackdown on a pro-democracy movement since February 2011.
16 April 2012
Hundreds of Bahrainis demonstrated on Sunday after a Shiite opposition call for a week of pro-democracy protests to coincide with the F1 Grand Prix to be hosted by the Gulf state.
Waving red and white Bahraini flags and holding pictures of jailed Shiite activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is on hunger strike, the protesters called for the ouster of the kingdom’s prime minister.
Whoever participates in this race is tainted by association with a malign regime
15 April 2012
The kingdom of Bahrain is a repressive regime that has jailed and killed citizens who campaign for the reform of its monarchy. In Shia villages in the minority Sunni-led state, which was propped up by last year’s intervention by Saudi troops, protests continue daily.
Only last week, Shia villages were attacked by supporters of the regime with knives and sticks. And while it is true that the country’s ruling family commissioned a critical report into the violence of last year, it is also a fact that despite promising reform the regime has reneged on most of its promises while the perpetrators of abuses in its security services have gone largely unpunished.
Associated Press, SHANGHAI
By: Justin Bergman, 15 April 2012
SHANGHAI (AP) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix is definitely going ahead as planned and all of the teams are “happy” to be going there.
Ecclestone said after meeting with team principals at the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday that he believed Bahrain is peaceful enough to hold the race and that extra safety precautions would not be necessary.
13 April, 2012
Clashes between protesters and police continued in Bahrain on Friday just after the country was deemed safe for a flashy automobile race by the event’s chief executive, who insisted that the Persian Gulf nation was quiet and peaceful.
Bahrain Freedom Movement, April 12, 2012
One of the two Bahraini nationals on hunger strike has been taken to hospital this afternoon after being found unconscious on the street pavements outside the U.S Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
Ali Mushaima and Musa Abd Ali have now spent two nights outside the U.S Embassy and have been on indefinite hunger strike for the past eight days.
18 Dec 2011
Police in Bahrain on Sunday fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans after the funeral of an elderly man who witnesses say died from tear gas inhalation.
The unrest Sunday is the fourth straight day of clashes between opposition supporters and security forces along a main highway west of the Bahraini capital Manama. At least 40 people have been killed since February, when Bahrain’s Shiite majority started campaigning for more rights from Sunni rulers in the Gulf kingdom that is the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
Though the Persian Gulf island nation is a close U.S. ally and the host of its Fifth Fleet, there’s not much that American pressure or diplomacy could do that it isn’t already.
19 Oct 20111
MANAMA, Bahrain — On Tuesday, the U.S. reached a tentative deal to sell Bahrain, the site of a short-lived uprising and a brutal and sweeping crackdown with sectarian overtones, $53 million in arms. Though the arms deal is not final, it has already drawn criticism from human rights groups and inside Bahrain.
Very soon, the Arab uprising that the U.S. has said the least about is likely to make America’s life in the Persian Gulf a lot harder. Bahrain dropped off of the radar this summer. This won’t last.