Bahrain dictatorship news round-up

This video is called Bahraini hunger striker’s daughter speaks out.

Unfortunately, news about penguins in Antarctica, insects in Portugal, or birds in Portugal, does not mean that Bahrain is no longer a dictatorship.

View from Bahrain: ‘Safe? They use so much tear gas we can hardly breathe’: here.

Bahrain Crisis between Hunger Strike and Grand Prix Boycott: here.

Holding Grand Prix in Bahrain Ignores Unrest & Abuses (Video): here.

Tension rises over Bahrain as McLaren usher drivers out of press chat. Sensitivity over next week’s grand prix is continuing to increase, despite the decision to go-ahead with the race: here.

From Associated Press:

April 13, 2012, 1:59PM ET

Violence flares in Bahrain after F1 gets go-ahead


MANAMA, Bahrain

Protesters hurled firebombs and riot police fired tear gas Friday, hours after Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone declared the Gulf nation safe to host a Grand Prix race next week.

All 12 teams told Ecclestone they were happy to travel to the tiny kingdom despite the political unrest. He said no extra safety precautions were being put in place.

“There’s nothing happening (in Bahrain),” Ecclestone said in Shanghai before the Chinese Grand Prix. “I know people that live there and it’s all very quiet and peaceful.”

But clashes broke out after the funeral of activist Ahmed Ismail, who authorities say was killed late last month by gunfire during a protest, although it is still unclear who fired the shots.

“No F1, no F1. … They killed my son in cold blood,” sobbed Ismail’s mother, Makyia Ahmed, who said her son had been a volunteer at previous F1 races.

Protesters chanted anti-government slogans and riot police used tear gas and bird shot to clear the crowds. Several people were injured by the bird-shot pellets.

The Grand Prix is the nation’s biggest sports event, drawing a worldwide TV audience of about 100 million in 187 countries.

Organizers canceled last year’s Grand Prix after the outbreak of violence, which has led to at least 50 deaths. The crackdown by the Sunni-led government was imposed after Bahrain‘s Shiite majority demanded a greater political voice.

Human rights groups criticized the reinstatement of the race this year, and protesters have galvanized supporters by chanting against Formula One in marches, while criticizing Ecclestone and drivers on social media websites.

Amnesty International warned that “the human rights crisis in Bahrain is not over.” The London-based group said that despite authorities’ claims that the country is calm and free of political unrest, the “state violence against those who oppose the Al Khalifa family rule continues,” referring to the family of the king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

“Holding the Grand Prix in Bahrain in 2012 risks being interpreted by the government of Bahrain as symbolizing a return to business as usual,” Amnesty’s statement said.

A group calling itself the Feb. 14 Coalition — named for the anniversary of the uprising — says holding the race is “against our wishes and the feelings of the people of Bahrain.”

Bahrain: Grand Prix Decision Ignores Abuses: here.

Amnesty International says Bahrain crisis no better than when 2011 Formula 1 grand prix was cancelled: here.


F1: Sponsors Nervous About Bahrain

Some sponsors have reportedly pulled the plug on providing hospitality for guests in Bahrain…

SPEED Staff / GMM | Posted April 14, 2012

Bahrain Document: Activists Appeal to BBC and Sky Not to Broadcast Grand Prix: here.

From AFP news agency:

4 April 2012 | Last updated at 02:44PM

Bahrain police wound teenage mourner

DUBAI: A Bahraini 15 year-old was in intensive care on Saturday after being shot by anti-riot police while attending the funeral of a citizen journalist killed during a protest late last month, the opposition said.

Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Aziz was among several people injured during the ceremony for Ahmed Ismail, 22, the main Shiite opposition movement in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, Al-Wefaq, said.

He sustained bullet wounds to the chest as police fired tear gas and live rounds on mourners.

The shooting came as Formula One bosses said the Bahrain Grand Prix would go ahead next week as planned, despite fears it could be targeted by anti-government demonstrations.

The sport’s governing body, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), and commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone made separate announcements in Shanghai, venue of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

The controversial Bahrain event set for April 22 has overshadowed the lead-up to Sunday’s race in Shanghai and many teams are believed to have grave concerns.

It was postponed last year after protests broke out against the government, and was thought to be in jeopardy once again because of the more than year-long demonstrations.

Egypt: Deportation of Bahraini Activist Nabeel Rajab From Cairo Airport: here.

4 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship news round-up

  1. Bahraini teenagers wounded after grand prix given go-ahead

    Three in hospital after sustaining injuries at a rally after the funeral of a man shot during an anti-government protest


    Three Bahraini teenagers were wounded at a post-funeral rally late on Friday, the country’s opposition said, on the same day that Formula One organisers said the Bahrain grand prix scheduled for a week’s time would go ahead.

    Mohammed Abdul Aziz, 14, was wounded by what appeared to be shotgun pellets; Habib Sroor, 16, was injured in the arm and eye and Sadiq Riyad, 15, had severe head injuries, a representative of Wefaq, Bahrain’s main opposition group, said on Saturday.

    “He [Aziz] is stable. He is in Salmaniya ICU and his family met with him,” said another Wefaq spokesman, referring to one of the main hospitals in Manama. The two others were in the same hospital.

    A government official said that the information ministry was aware of the reports but could not verify any details.

    They were apparently wounded during clashes between police and mourners at the funeral of a man shot during an anti-government protest two weeks ago.

    The clashes took place hours after the FIA gave the green light for the Formula One event to go ahead. It was cancelled in Bahrain last year after a violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

    Formula One’s commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone said earlier on Friday the race was “200 percent” certain to go ahead. “All the teams are happy to be there,” he added. “There’s nothing happening. I know people who live there and it’s all very quiet and peaceful.”

    Bahrain’s Sunni rulers are keen to stage a successful race as part of their efforts to show progress on reforms and reconciliation with the majority Shi’ite community after the protests last year, which were suppressed with the help of troops from neighbouring Saudi Arabia. At stake for Bahrain at the race is not just the estimated 100,000 visitors and $500 million generated the last time the Formula One event was held, but the nation’s prestige.

    Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa initiated the race in 2004, the first in the Middle East, and is also its honorary president.

    Just after Friday’s decision by the FIA, Bahrain International Circuit said it was ready to hold the race and that the “the security situation in Bahrain is suitable for the staging of a major sporting event.” It was unclear whether the reported injuries would have any impact on the Formula One organisers’ decision. Race officials, who are in Shanghai for the Chinese grand prix this weekend, were not immediately available for comment.

    Last year’s race was delayed, then cancelled, after mostly Shi’ite pro-democracy demonstrators took to the streets demanding a greater say in government and better access to jobs, housing and opportunities.

    Also weighing on a tense situation is the health of jailed rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for two months.

    The United States has expressed concern about Khawaja’s condition and Denmark, where he also holds citizenship, has been pressing for his release.


  2. Pingback: Bahrain keeps fighting for democracy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Blood and Formula One in Bahrain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Egyptian workers in Saudi Arabia in serfdom | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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