Bahrainis continue protests against upcoming F1 race
Anti-regime protesters in Bahrain have once again expressed their opposition to the Formula One Grand Prix competition, scheduled to take place in the country in two days.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Demonstrators and opposition groups are holding daily protests to force the cancellation of the motor race.
The outraged public believes the event is being used by the Al Khalifa regime to portray a normal picture of the state of affairs on the ground in the sheikdom, which has been witnessing anti-regime rallies since February 2011.
Nabil Rajab, the head of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, a non-profit Bahraini NGO, also denounced the regime for insisting to hold the race.
“We are against awarding dictators. Formula One in Bahrain is being taken as a PR [stunt] for the ruling elite. The repressive dictators, who are ruling the country,” he said.
Tom Malinowski from Human Rights Watch also described the race as a political event.
He said, “No one should make any mistake about that. The government wanted the Formula One here not because they are interested in cars going around the track. They brought it here because they want to use it to show the world that everything is OK in Bahrain now and everything is not OK in Bahrain.”
On Thursday, two members of the Force India Formula One team decided to withdraw from the event after a fire bomb exploded near the team’s van.
Porsche Supercup Squad MRS has also withdrawn from the opening rounds, citing “ongoing unrest” and “security situation” in the Persian Gulf state.
Last year, Formula One’s governing body cancelled the contest in the country over nationwide anti-government protests.
Scores of people have been killed and many others injured in the Manama regime attacks on the Bahraini protesters.
The demonstrators hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the deaths.