F1 faces protest before the Bahrain GP

With just three weeks to go into the Bahrain Grand Prix, violence and protests have erupted in the kingdom. With the battle for democracy continue at the island, police have stepped ahead to make way for the upcoming Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix.

Several young protesters met outside the village of Abu Saiba, west of Manama, and Tubli, south of the capital, according to postings by the Coalition of the Youth of the February 14th Revolution on Facebook.

Last year’s Bahrain GP was cancelled due to disorder in the kingdom, however, this year Bernie Ecclestone, president and CEO of F1 is firm on his decision on having a race on the island. 2011 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and seven-time winner Michael Schumacher lately supported the return to Bahrain. The police has given a fight back, making several arrests, shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at the protestors, while at least one protestor was shot dead.

Bystanders claim that a 22-year-old man was filming the firing of tear gas on protesters, when he was shot and killed by state-supporting army on Friday. This was the first death since the protest sprouted last year and the 2011 Grand Prix was cancelled. In addition, the tragedy has heaped on the protests to cancel the 2012 Bahrain GP.

F1 faces protest before the Bahrain GP

While the Bahrain Government is not ready to take the responsibility of the death, saying, “The ministry of interior will do all it can to find the criminal and bring him to justice,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying by the Times of London.

The ministry has also announced the arrest of Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

Last week, he was quoted saying, “We are going to make use of the opportunities that a lot of journalists are there (for the grand prix) and we are going to protest everywhere.”

But there was tremendous response from the protestors, as one of the online video of a protestor said, “We (object to) holding a sports race that belittles the sacrifices of our children and ignores our suffering and wounds.”

Another video blogger said, “Do not tarnish the reputation of the respected autosport with the blood of Bahrain victims.”

The protest grew stronger since the tragedy with several online blogs supporting the movement. Twitter has paid host to a campaign to cancel the race with the hashtags #BloodyF1 and #NoF1 getting general.

Bahrain GP was scheduled for April 20-22 at Sakhir circuit, southwest of Manama.

Bahrain GP was scheduled for April 20-22 at Sakhir circuit, southwest of Manama

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