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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.

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Bahrain Grand Prix: Protests pose no 'direct threat'

Organisers of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix said sporadic protests against the race and unrest in the country do not pose a "direct threat" to the event.

Zayed Alzayani, the chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, said the security measures put in place at the circuit this week were no different to those for past races.

"We don't feel there is a direct threat to the track nor have we received any threats to the track," Mr Alzayani said. "But we take everything into account. For us, we want to produce an event that is memorable for those who attended".

Preparations are under way at the Bahrain circuit ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix. Credit: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

He insisted that Sunday's race is a unifying force and that a majority of Bahrainis were backing it.

Ticket sales are up 20 percent over past year with 25,000 fans expected at the race, Mr Alzayani said.

"The race has been endorsed by all members of society, including the opposition. If there are people who are against the race, that is fine. They are entitled to express their opinion within the confines of the law", he added.

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