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Five jailed for Bahrain GP 'bomb plot'

NEWS STORY
29/04/2014

Five people, including two women, have been jailed for allegedly plotting to plant a bomb at the Bahrain International Circuit in 2013.

The state news agency BNA has not named the women one of whom is alleged to have been caught on a trial run ahead of the bombing, a policewoman stopping the suspect and finding that she was using a pillow to pretend she was pregnant.

However, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) has named the women as Nafisa al-Asfoor and Rayhana al-Musawi, both of whom, according to BYSHR claim they were tortured and abused by the police during their questioning.

Attorney Entesar al-Asfoor says all five were convicted today, each of them receiving sentences of five years.

The situation in Bahrain - home to the US Fifth Fleet - first made the headlines in 2011 at the height of the so-called Arab Spring, the majority pro-democracy Shiite community taking to the streets in protest at their Sunni rulers.

After much dithering and some spectacular U-turns the 2011 race was cancelled but F1 returned in 2012 and has continued ever since indeed, this year the kingdom held two of the pre-season tests.

However, while the unrest has disappeared from the headlines it has continued, indeed, days before the opening Bahrain test a policeman was killed in a bomb blast in the village of Dair, just twenty-five miles from the Bahrain circuit, during a protest to mark the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising.

Ahead of this year's race the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy (BIRD) and BYSHR, all expressed concern at what they called "growing violations against civilians in Bahrain", claiming that the authorities were flouting human rights by harassing and arresting anyone they perceived as a threat not only to the race but to the positive image the kingdom is trying to project by hosting the event.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BigDave, 30/04/2014 20:37

"But surely there's no trouble in Bahrain, at least none you can see from a comfortable seat in Starbucks?!"

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