Bahrainis stage anti-regime protests ahead of F1 races

Bahraini anti-government protesters set fire to garbage dumpsters in protest of Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, in Malkiya, Bahrain, on April 3, 2016. (Photo by AP)

Bahraini protesters have staged rallies across the country against the Al Khalifah regime’s repressive policies in the lead-up to the Formula One Grand Prix 2018 races in the sheikhdom.

The protesters took to the streets on Wednesday night, holding the photos of those killed or incarcerated during anti-regime protests in the country since 2011.

Clashes erupted between Bahraini police forces and protesters in the village of al-Akr, 32 kilometers south of the capital, Manama.

The protests come as the Persian Gulf is set to host the Formula One Grand Prix as of April 6.

Bahrainis say Formula One’s governing body, FIA, should cancel the event over Manama’s ongoing crackdown on protests and poor human rights record.

Human rights activists slam Bahrain’s hosting of the Formula One race as a failed attempt to restore Manama’s international image.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011. They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

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