F1 Bahrain Grand Prix:Is it Bahrain a safe country for Formule 1 ? huge protests rising against race / F1 News
Large anti-government protests before the country’s Grand Prix this weekend, anger of the oppressed people can turning violence against F1 stuff in Bahrain.
The tiny Gulf state has stepped up security before the race, which the opposition wants boycotted as it continues with its pro-democracy campaign.
Members of the Shi’ite opposition plan more protests to coincide with practice sessions in the run-up to Sunday’s race.
On Thursday night, thousands demonstrated in several areas in yet another day of protests.
“No Formula on Bahrain’s occupied land,” chanted the protesters. “No, no blood Formula.”
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades.
Witnesses said protesters had blocked roads near Bahrain International Airport.
Security forces are on high alert to prevent possible clashes from marring the race.
The event is seen as a boost to the image and economy of the tiny Gulf monarchy torn by Arab Spring-inspired unrest.
Checkpoints have been set up at major intersections, particularly on roads leading to the Sakhir circuit, south of Manama.
Sunni-ruled Bahrain was rocked by month-long protests led by the kingdom‘s Shi’ite majority in early 2011. They were crushed with the help of Gulf troops led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The February 14 Coalition, named after the date of the uprising, has called for a “day of rage,” urging demonstrators to take to the streets against the “blood Formula”.
Its members have repeatedly said they do not oppose the event but want their protests to be heard internationally and to press for solidarity from participating teams.
Protesters have intensified their movement over the past week, prompting near-daily clashes with security forces.
Government spokeswoman Samira Rajab said: “Bahrain is ready to host the F1 and there are no security issues.”
On Thursday, Human Rights Watch accused Formula One of “ignoring rights abuses”.
Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed Alzayani said he hoped for a capacity crowd of more than 25,000 at the race, insisting it was safe to go ahead.
The event was cancelled in 2011 but went ahead last year.
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