Bahrain protests threaten 2011 season opener

By on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feb.15 (GMM) Less than a month before the 2011 season is scheduled to begin, the host nation of the championship opener is in turmoil.

Inspired by recent anti-government revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain are clashing with riot police armed with tear gas and batons, and three people have reportedly already been killed.

"For sure F1 is not going to be peaceful this time," said Nabeel Rajab, vice president of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, according to Arabian Business.

"There'll be lots of journalists, a lot of people looking and (the government) will react in a stupid manner as they did today and yesterday. And that will be bloody but will be more publicised," he added.

Rajab said he doubted the current protests will be short lived.

"This will not stop, especially now when people died. I don't think it's going to stop easily," he said.

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