Bahrain Opposition Calls for More Protests Ahead of F1 Race

18 April 2013 | 17:54 Code : 1915092 Latest Headlines

(FNA)- Protesters in Bahrain plan to step up demands for reform ahead of this weekend's Formula One Grand Prix.

The main opposition Al-Wefaq political bloc has called for a massive rally to coincide with free practice on Friday, the same day the February 14 Movement has urged youths to protest under the slogan "Volcano of Anger", AFP reported.

The Al-Wefaq is to protest under the banner "Democracy is Our Right".

"We are not against the Formula One Grand Prix, but we want the world to hear our demands -- democracy, respect of human rights, and an elected government," a leading figure of Al-Wefaq Khalil al-Marzooq told news agencies.

Late on Tuesday, youths took to the streets across populated villages, sounding drums and chanting, "No to the Formula of blood," in reference to the three-day event.

"More than 100 people have so far been arrested," said Marzooq.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International accused Bahrain of "trying to use the Grand Prix as a platform to show progress, with claims that the human rights situation has improved, whilst stepping up repression in order to ensure nothing disturbs their public image".

It urged Bahrain to "immediately release all prisoners of conscience, let demonstrators exercise their rights peacefully and allow unrestricted access to NGOs and journalists to monitor the situation around the Grand Prix".

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar - were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of protesters have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.

tags: grand bahrain

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