News

    Demonstrations Planned as Racing Event Heads for Bahrain

    Henry Ridgwell

    The motor racing Formula One Grand Prix heads to Bahrain this weekend, a year after it was cancelled because of violent anti-government protests and a government crackdown. Bahraini authorities insist the situation is now stable - but protesters say human rights abuses are continuing on a daily basis and have vowed to do all they can to make their voices heard this weekend.

    Tear gas and Molotov cocktails rained down on parts of Manama, Bahrain's capital, this week. Opposition members are stepping up their anti-government protests ahead of the Grand Prix on Sunday.

    Among them, Dr. Nada Dhaif. She and 19 other medics were sentenced to 15 years in jail for allegedly aiding the demonstrations last year. She has been released pending an appeal and spoke to VOA on the phone from Bahrain.

    “We will get the whole media’s attention on Bahrain and then we have the chance to show to the whole world what is the reality. Actually I’m heading now to central Manama to demonstrate there and to protest to free Abdulhadi al-Khawaja,” Dhaif said.

    Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a Bahraini-Danish human rights activist, was sentenced to life in prison for trying to topple the monarchy. He’s been on a hunger strike for nearly 70 days, and fellow activists say his condition is critical.

    London-based human rights group Amnesty International details what it claims are continuing abuses by the Bahrain government.  

    “Excessive use of force by the security services, they are using a lot of tear gas, and a number of people have died as a result. They are also making arbitrary arrests and also using torture and ill-treatment. We will be seeing a lot of human rights abuses,” said Amnesty's Said Boumedouha.

    The Bahrain government denies such accusations.

    It points to the Independent Commission of Inquiry, set up by the monarchy in the wake of last year’s protests. The government insists it is making political reforms and is prosecuting those guilty of rights abuses.

    But Amnesty International says only 11 low-ranking officers have been put on trial.

    Bahraini activist Doctor Nada Dhaif says the political changes are just cosmetic.

    “In reality, on the ground, nothing has been changed. There are daily protests going on, there’s daily raiding of the villages, the excessive use of force and the excessive use of tear gas,” Dhaif said.

    Most Formula One drivers have stayed silent on the issue. But two-time champion Sebastian Vettel did speak out.

    “The latest comment was that we are going to Bahrain to race there. If that's still the call, then I think it's safe enough to go, then we should go there and race and not worry about something that is not our business,” Vettel said.

    The sport’s governing body says it is satisfied with the security situation - and insists the race will go ahead as scheduled.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: tt
    April 19, 2012 2:35 AM
    money talks louder than justice

    by: Liu Jian Ping
    April 18, 2012 5:00 PM
    I like your video progam. Please let me download your program.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora