Clashes erupt as Bahrainis protest against F1 championship race

Manama—Bahraini forces have clashed with people protesting against the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix, a Formula One motor race, as the Manama regime continues its heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy rallies. 

Bahraini troops fired tear gas and used water cannon to disperse the peaceful protesters in the town of Bilad al-Qadeem on Friday.

In response, the protesters targeted the regime forces with Molotov cocktails.

The Bahrain Grand Prix has been held since 2004, with the exception of 2011, when the popular uprising began in the Persian Gulf country.

Human rights activists slam Bahrain’s hosting of the Formula One as a failed attempt to restore Manama’s international image tarnished by rights violations. The activists’ voices, however, have been silenced to protect the financial interests from Bahrain’s biggest sporting event that is watched by a worldwide audience of millions. 

Additionally on Friday, Amnesty International’s branch in Bahrain called on fans of the F1 motor race to demand that the Manama regime free prisoners of conscience.

Since February 14, 2011, Bahraini people have been holding peaceful protest rallies on an almost daily basis, demanding that the Al Khalifah family relinquish power and let a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.

Bahrainis have also been complaining against widespread discrimination against the Shia majority in the kingdom.

Manama has responded to the protests with lethal force, drawing international criticism. 

Bahraini authorities have further detained human rights campaigners, broken up major opposition political parties and revoked the nationality of several activists. 

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