Bahrain explains Force India incident, says security high

April 19, 2012

Bahraini authorities on Thursday said the security level in the Gulf country was high and that all the usual precautions have been taken around the track where the Formula One races will be held.

The remarks were issued amid reports that members of a racing team were the victims of an incident.

‘Vehicle not targeted’

Bahrain said that the vehicle used by the team members had not been targeted and that it had been caught in a standoff between protestors and the police.

“On Wednesday evening, four members of the Force India team were travelling between the Bahrain International Circuit and Manama,” an official said.

“They drove through an isolated incident involving a handful of illegal protestors acting violently towards police. During this incident a Molotov cocktail landed in the vicinity of their vehicle. After approximately two minutes, the route was cleared and the vehicle carried on its journey. There were no casualties and eyewitness reports from the scene confirmed that their vehicle had not been targeted.”

‘Full confidence’

Circuit officials said that they had “full confidence in the ability of the relevant Bahrain authorities to deal with such isolated incidents and can confirm that all the usual precautions are being taken around the track to ensure the level of security is maintained.”

On Wednesday evening, the country’s public security chief said that “a number of rioters and vandals had been arrested for taking part in illegal rallies and gatherings, blocking roads and endangering people’s lives by attacking them with petrol bombs, iron rods and stones.”

“The arrests were made following an investigation and the identification of the suspects,” Major -General Tariq Al Hassan said. “The arrests were part of the police duty to enforce the law and to maintain public security. Legal action was taken against in coordination with the Public Prosecutor,” he said.

‘Protesters not legitimate’

According to the chief of public security, acts of vandalism, blocking roads and put people’s lives at risk by attacking them with petrol bombs, iron rods and stones “do not come under the definition of freedom of expression protected by the law and therefore those arrested are not considered legitimate protesters.”

“Instead, they aimed to cause chaos and endanger civil peace, which is not acceptable. Maintaining security and ensuring public safety are the top priorities for the police and there will be zero tolerance for violations,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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