ITV News Crew Detained By Police, Forced To Leave Bahrain Ahead Of Grand Prix
Members of an ITV News team were "forced to leave Bahrain" ahead of last weekend's "controversial Formula One race following a dispute with the authorities," according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. Former BBC foreign correspondent and ITV journalist Rageh Omaar, an ITV News cameraman and producer, "left the country on Friday morning after being detained by the police." The Somalia-born Omaar, "who became a household name" during the '03 invasion of Iraq while reporting from Baghdad, and his team "were in the Gulf state on official visas to cover news" including potential political protest surrounding the race. An ITV News spokesperson said, "Our news team were on assignment with visas approved by the Bahraini authorities. Having filed a report last night [Thursday], they were stopped while filming this morning and taken to a local police station for discussions with officers. They have since been asked to leave the country, which they are in the process of doing" (GUARDIAN, 4/19).