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.

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Bahrain Grand Prix under fire

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