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F1 boss has 'no concerns' about Bahrain Grand Prix

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone rejected pleas for the Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled, saying he had "no concerns" that it would become a target for anti-government protesters.

Mr Ecclestone told Reuters last week that he believed the situation in Bahrain had improved.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Credit: James Moy/James Moy Photography/Press Association Images

"I haven't had any negative reports from anybody there," he said. "Somebody who actually lives there came to see me yesterday and said everything's very normal".

"I think they [both sides] are talking now anyway ... so I don't think they'll upset the talks by making protests", he added.

F1 'ignoring' human rights abuses in Bahrain

Bahrain faces international scrutiny as human rights groups accuse the island kingdom of quashing protests.
Bahrain faces international scrutiny as human rights groups accuse the island kingdom of quashing protests. Credit: PA

Formula One organisers are "burying their heads in the sand" and putting the Grand Prix in Bahrain ahead of human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch claimed today.

The group said international racing bodies responsible for scheduling the race, which begins on Sunday, have taken no steps to address human rights violations linked to the event.

"The Formula 1 organisers apparently prefer to bury their heads in the sand, risking holding their race against repression it has provoked."

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

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Bahrain criticised over Formula One protest arrests

Bahrain has been criticised by Amnesty International after several protesters were arrested during demonstrations ahead of Sunday's Formula One race.

We are seeing nothing but crackdowns and token gestures to clean up the country’s image

– Amnesty International statement

The human rights group warned that the Gulf Arab state was inviting a repeat of last year's violent Grand Prix clashes.

Bahrain's state news agency reported last night that a male suspect in custody had confessed to burning a car that had exploded in the country's financial district on April 14.

Four others were arrested in connection with stealing and burning a car and another person was detained over an accusation he blocked a main road and caused damage to a Bahraini's car.

Bahrain blocks sites showing anti-Islam film

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Interior Minister directed coordination with concerned bodies to block websites showing the controversial film about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)

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Interior Minister called upon citizens and residents to not contribute in the spreading of the film by circulating it through social medial.

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MOI calls for fast reporting on the controversial film on Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) for necessary procedures

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Bahraini medic has jail term cut by nine years

Dr Saeed Al Samahiji, an eye consultant at Salmanya hospital, had his jail sentence reduced from ten to one year today.

He was accused along with several of his colleagues in assisting with last year's uprising against the ruling royal family in Bahrain.

It is not yet clear whether the Bahraini medical professional will actually have to return to jail as he has already spent a considerable amount of time in detention.

He said: "I am ready for my people and my country. They can do whatever they want against me - I will go to jail anywhere for my people."

Bahrain doctor: 'I'm not free if my colleagues aren't'

Dr Rula al-Saffar, former head of emergency medicine at Salmanya hospital, had her conviction and 15 year jail sentence quashed today by the High Criminal Court of Appeal.

The Bahraini medic had been sentenced in September 2011, having been accused of helping last year's uprising against the ruling royal family.

She is one of nine medical staff to have had their convictions cleared.

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