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SBD Global/April 19, 2013/Events and Attractions
FIA President Jean Todt Believes Bahrain Grand Prix Can Heal Scars In Violent Region
Published April 19, 2013
SEVERAL ARRESTED AT RACE SITE: REUTERS reported that Bahrain "has arrested several people accused of stealing and burning cars amid heightened security in the island kingdom" before Sunday's F1 race. Bahrain's state news agency said on Wednesday that "authorities had arrested a man who later confessed to an incident in which a car burned and exploded in the country's financial district on April 14." Four other people accused of stealing and burning a car near a roundabout were also arrested and another person was detained over an accusation he blocked a main road and caused damage to a Bahraini's car. Amnesty International said human rights activists claimed dozens of protesters had been arrested ahead of the race (REUTERS, 4/18). The BANGKOK POST reported that witnesses said that "Bahrain riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades at Shiite protesters who hurled petrol bombs during demonstrations Thursday" against this weekend's F1 Grand Prix. Protesters chanted, "No. No to blood Formula" and "your race is a crime," denouncing the decision of F1 to go ahead with the race despite complaints of rights abuses by the kingdom's Sunni rulers against Shiites (BANGKOK POST, 4/18).
DEMONSTRATIONS ISOLATED: The AP reported that Thursday's demonstrations were mostly isolated to anti-government areas, however, and race organizers remain confident that the race will go ahead without disruption (AP, 4/18).