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Mass arrest of Bahraini protesters at threshold of Formula 1 Car Race

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, April 20, IRNA -- A spokesman of Bahrain Liberation Movement informed about mass arrest of his fellow citizens back in Manama on threshold of 2012 Bahrain Formula 1 Race.

The spokesman added in an interview with IRNA reporter Friday night, “During the course of this week at least 70 Bahraini citizens have been arrested by security forces only because they had participated at peaceful protests against the organizing of the Formula 1 car race, and according to the received reports many of them have been subjected to various types of torture and abuse.”

He added, “Arresting the Bahraini political activists goes on most vehemently and the security officials of the regime have announced that the protesters’ arrest period would be indefinite.”

Severely criticizing the support of the regime officials for holding the Formula 1 car race in Bahrain under the prevailing conditions of the country, he said, “Presently the real race in Bahrain is between the humane values and the state aggressive approach which is intensified with the passage of each new day. The upcoming Formula 1 car race in Manama is the most controversial sports competition in the history of this race, as the drivers are in fact racing over the shed blood martyred of Bahraini citizens.”

The spokesperson of Bahrain Liberation Movement referring to the recent employment of two notorious police officers one from Britain and the other one from the United States by Ale Khalifa regime to take the command of Bahrain’s security forces, added, “Former deputy police chief of London, John Yates who was employed by Bahrain regime four months ago has threatened that the Bahraini protesters against Formula 1 car race, that if necessary the security forces would shoot them using war bullets.”

The spokesperson reiterated, “The anti-regime protest rallies have been intensified during the past days and on Friday evening the protesters were seen chanting anti-Formula 1 slogans and rallying almost all over the country, asking for cancellation of the games.”

He said, “It is a pity that despite the vast international demands for cancellation of this completion, including those made by the media and the human rights organizations, the Formula 1 Organization officials insists on holding the race on schedule, just to please the Bahraini regime officials who intend to pretend that everything in the country is normal.”

He emphasized, “The People of Bahrain have lost hope for reforms in the ruling regime, since all their promises have proved to be baloney, and they have therefore unanimously decided to get rid of the Ale Khalifa regime and no power can create an obstacle in the way of materializing the will of a determiner nation.”

Meanwhile, dozens of British Parliament members, including the head of Labor Party Ed Miliband have asked for the cancellation of this year’s Formula 1 races in Bahrain, like the last year’s race.

Miliband said on Friday under such conditions that worries for intensified aggressions and broader violations of the human rights prevail, the holding of this international sports event sends wrong messages to the world nations.”

He asked the British Prime Minister David Cameron to voice his opposition against the holding of the Formula 1 race in Manama, but Mr. Cameron’s reaction was, “Holding of this match in Bahrain is a sports event, and the government should not interfere in it!”

The British prime minister also once again voice his support for the Bahraini dictator’s regime, adding that Bahrain is not Syria, and the country’s officials have actually begun reforms, which we support.

That is while the Bahraini human rights activists have many times stressed that no change in the behavior of Ale Khalifa has been observed, and suppression, torture and broad violation of the human rights is still going on vast scale.

One of these activists, called Yusuf, told the BBC on Friday, “How can Mr. Cameron be speaking of the claimed reforms of the Bahraini regime, while the prime minister of Bahrain has been holding that position for over 40 years so far?”

He added, “From the viewpoint of the people of Bahrain, the ruling class of Bahrain today are the same killers of the last year, and nothing has been changed.”

The Amnesty International (AI), too, this week published a report on continuation of breaching of the human rights in Bahrain, criticizing the holding of Formula 1 race under such conditions.

The London based AI added, “Under such conditions that the Formula 1 car race is being held in Manama and the eyes of the world nations are fixed on those matches, no one should be deceived that the human rights crisis in Bahrain has been over.”

The internationally acknowledged organization added that holding of this international sports event in Bahrain under such conditions that the anti-regime protest there have intensified and so have the suppression of them and arrests, raised worried lest the Manama government would intend to take advantage of the Formula 1 and pretend that the situation is back to normal there.

Just hours before the start of Formula 1’s practice session at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Anonymous brought down the official F1 website in a denial of service (DoS) attack. The hacker collective said the attack was in support of Bahrain’s protest movement, which was crushed last year by the minority Sunni monarchy.

Before bringing the entire website down, Anonymous posted a message on fan site f1-racers.net, condemning Bahrain King Hamad bin al-Khalifa for what they called “murder.”

“Not only is the Human Rights situation in Bahrain tragic, it becomes more drastic with each passing day. For these reasons the F1 Grand Prix in Bahrain should be strongly opposed. The Ale Khalifa regime stands to profit heavily off the race and has promised to use live ammunition against protestors in preparation,” read the statement posted to formula1.com, signed, “We Do Not Forgive. We Do Not Forget. Expect Us.0x0 was and still is here. Join #OpBahrain.”

One of a handful of Twitter accounts closely associated with the collective also announced Anonymous’ support for the Bahraini uprising and confirmed that Formula 1 websites were indeed hacked by Anonymous.

“HACKED - http://f1-racers.net/ by #Anonymous to support the peoples' struggles for freedom from tyrannical oppression (via #OpBahrain),” read a tweet early this morning from @YourAnonNews.

Anonymous has pledged to keep the official Formula 1 website down for the entirety of the race weekend. As of 1:30 p.m. Friday, formula1.com was still down intermittently.

Bahrain’s protesters are attempting to seize an opportunity presented by the Formula 1 race to bring their protest movement back into the limelight of the international press.

Largely forgotten by western media outlets, anti-government activists in Manama and elsewhere are still attempting to bring down the minority Sunni al-Khalifa regime that began brutally cracking down on protesters early last year.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80088445



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