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Bahrain hit by violent protests ahead of Sunday Grand Prix event

Manama, Thu, 19 Apr 2012 ANI

Manama, Apr 19 (ANI): Bahraini security forces fired stun grenades at protesters outside a cultural exhibition in Manama, ahead of Sunday's Formula 1 Grand Prix, to seize control over the chaotic situation in the city.

Demonstrators continued their revolt against the government, chanting slogans 'Down, down, F1', the police officials reportedly fired rubber bullets and deafening 'sound bombs' into the crowd, sending protesters and by standers running, the BBC reports.

As the city witnessed violent protests, the release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was also demanded, who is an activist, and has been on hunger strike in prison for the last two months. He was convicted by a military court in June of plotting against the state.

The human rights groups have termed his trial as 'grossly unfair' and claimed that no evidence was present that proved Khawaja;s involvement in the violence or protests against King Hamad Al Khalifa.

Bahrain's highest court is due to rule on Mr Khawaja's appeal against his conviction on Monday, a day after the Grand Prix.

The protesters are determined to use this weekend's Formula 1 race to draw world attention to their year-long campaign for democracy, and to revolt against the government's continuing suppression. (ANI)

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