Bahrain still in turmoil as F1 deadline looms
Dealing with a number of significant issues
With just a few days remaining until the May 1 deadline, Bahrainis have urged Bernie Ecclestone against rescheduling a grand prix in the island Kingdom this year.
The activists’ open letter to the F1 chief executive comes amid Bahrain Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa turning down an invitation to Prince William’s wedding on Friday.
The Crown Prince said he did not want to overshadow the happy event, admitting he is "saddened and troubled" by media reports of his government’s treatment of protesters.
In a statement, however, he acknowledged Bahrain is still dealing with "a number of significant issues", with the activists writing to Ecclestone that F1 should stay away until "basic human rights are restored and the repression is over".
They said Bahrain is still "a country under siege and martial law, surrounded by tanks and military forces".
The Bahrain Football Association has confirmed that the civil unrest has led to six players being detained as the government cracks down against the protests that have resulted in 30 deaths.