Bahrain declares three-month state of emergency

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

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2010 Bahrain Grand Prix

The likelihood of the Bahrain Grand Prix being held this year continues to diminish.

State television reported the country’s king has declared a state of emergency which will he says will last for three months.

Last week the FIA asked the Bahrain Motor Federation to declare by May 1st whether the race would be able to take place this year.

Yesterday the country brought in troops from neighbouring countries to suppress anti-government protests.

BBC News reported: “The nation’s armed forces chief has been authorised to take all measures to ‘protect the safety of the country and its citizens’, says the statement from the king.”

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    41 comments on “Bahrain declares three-month state of emergency”

    1. See you in Bahrein in 2012…

      1. If at all. Crackdown on the protestors: Reminds me of how Iran reacted. Bringing in foreign troops: Warshaw pact forces into Czechoslovakia and Poland?

        Definetily the wrong way to cope with this. I fear for Bahrain losing its economy altogether after this. Fifth Fleet might pull out and Banks will possibly move station as well.

        1. It is “Warsaw”, not “Warshaw” ;) Sorry, couldn’t resist.

          1. Well, i could write it in Polish …

        2. I’m hoping the protesters stop protesting and get on with their lives.

          I like how its one of the few counties with real royal families. Thats what makes it unique. And from what I’ve seen, before the protests began, the average person in Bahrain made a crap ton of money each year – much more than in most other counties.

          If there is political reform, its going to go the same way Iran went. Pretty soon they will be digging holes, throwing women into them and throwing stones at their faces.

          1. I can understand the protesters having been impatient to see actual reforms happen, instead of just promises of improvement. Reacting this way, by letting in the Saudis, does not seem a wise, or conductive to a swift resolution.

            I also think that letting it escalate like this, would make it easier rather than harder for a country like Iran to meddle and influence the protesters, because it drives them to desperation and extremes.

          2. I presume you are talking about overthrow of shah regime in Iran and not the recent attempt of changing the regime in Iran which was drowned in blood last year.

            The trouble with Bahraini royal family is that you are stuck with them untill they die and you can follow who is where in the line of acession to the throne by an office he holds. Literally – president,president of parliament, defence minister, minister of economy etc. When you get a bad corrupt family member in rotation he is bound to do damage in whichever government agency he is put in.
            One of the basic human rights is right for self-determination and you can bet that royal family is not going to give them any democracy peacefully. In fact, they are using populistic methods to keep unwashed masses happy (the better standard you are mentioning in your comment) but people desire democratic reforms and not just “bread and games” ruling family is offering them.

          3. Steve, it’s not like this is the French burocrats protesting getting their pension plans cut to get closer to the rest of the world.

          4. For a contry not much larger than a golf course the idea of having a so-called ‘Royal Family’ is like a sketch from Monty Python or The Fast Show.

            And if you had any understanding of the conditions sao-called ‘guest workers’ from Indonesia and Bangladesh are virtually held prisoner your remarks about the protestors would shame you.

    2. Now would probably be a good time for Bernie to say there wont be a race in Bahrain during 2011.

      1. Indeed. Sadly, the chances of this seem pretty slim.

        Now foreign troops have entered the Kingdom it’s all over for this year. And if the Saudi troops put down the protests?

        1. That is almost worst, isn’t it?

      2. It might be that there won’t be a GP in Abu Dhabi either – there are 500 UAE troops in Manama as well as 1000 Saudi troops. Given the volatility of the situation, I expect Bernie has been well advised to say as little as possible.

        1. Given the volatility of the situation, I expect Bernie has been well advised to say as little as possible.

          When has that ever stopped him from putting his foot in his mouth before?

    3. Calls to put European troops into Libya to protect the citizens, while Libya’s neighbours react by sending their troops… into Bahrain to protect the minority leadership…
      “Shurely Shome Mishtake?”

      1. Last time I checked Lybian neighbors aren’t in “Peninnsula Shield Force” organization which sent its troops to aid the regime in Bahrain.

        1. When we use the term “Our European neighbours” we’re frequently including countries as far as 1000 miles from Britain. Saudi Arabia is substantially closer to Libya than that, and both are in the Arab League. Saudi Arabia, in the colloquial way that I intended it, is unquestionably a ‘neighbour’ of Libya.
          But I take your point that none of its immediate neighbours in the literal sense, is a member of the Peninsula Shield Force, as you say.

          1. The difference is Bahrain has asked for those armed forces as the protests have reignited. Gadafi hasn’t done so, he has brought in foreign fighters but only as mercenaries, not a peace keeping corps.

            1. I dont hear much of ‘peace-keeping’.

    4. Sad to think in many years we will be remembering the Bahrain GP for last years bore fest and being cancelled.

    5. where did they come up with 3 months? what happens in 3 months?

      i dont think you need to put a in timeframe when declaring a state of emergency. nobody knows what the situation will be in that time, not even the govenrment or the army. the situation could get worse, it could get better. i dont understand the logic behind the specific timeframe.

      as for the race itself, its not a very interesting track and the waiting list is bigger than the calendar can accomodate. i say drop Bahrain not just for 2011 but altogether. I prefer dropping Bahrain than one of the classic tracks to make space for Moscow or Austin.

      1. Governments usually declare such things for a given time in order to (at a minimum) keep a semblance of constitutionality because a state of emergency means that you’re suspending usual law and giving yourself more or less unlimited power to ‘deal’ with the ’emergency’. Three months is either arbitrary or the time they think it will take them to arrest or intimidate everyone that’s protesting and for the world to forget it happened.

        1. That pretty much sums it up. They might have thought the world is now looking at other things so they get away with it.

          Sadly, they might be right about that.

    6. I assumed things were improving but I guess not :(

      I hope the situation improves for everyone out there.

      1. I think that maybe because there’s been far less coverage of Bahrain since Libya and Japan.

        I too deeply hope the situation improves and right now I couldn’t care less about the impact it has on the F1 calendar.

    7. Bye Bye Bore-rain.

    8. Just to put a bit of perspective on this, the USA has been in a state of emergency since Sep. 14th 2001 (recently extended by Obama).

      1. I think you are comparing apples and pears there.

        “Bringing in other troops to suppress anti-government protestors”

        Kind of sums it up doesnt it.

        “The nation’s armed forces chief has been authorised to take all measures to ‘protect the safety of the country and its citizens’, says the statement from the king.”

        See, protect the safety of the current rulers.

      2. And even that is wildly misused for all kinds of restrictions.

      3. HounslowBusGarage
        15th March 2011, 20:42

        More perspective.
        If I recall correctly, the new Egyptian authorities are about to end their State of Emergency, after . . . thirty years. Algeria ended theirs after a mere 19 years.

        1. Hitler had a go at this as well I think…

    9. Having seen videos of the army gun down protestors, and then on sunday Police shot someone point blank in the chest TWICE with a rubber bullet or some form pellet gun – I dont want to see F1 go back to Bahrain.

    10. Boring circuit boring race with nearly no fans present

      So disappear for ever and it will be nice

      When I think we lost Magny-Cours, Imola , South Afrika to go in a country like this….


    11. So now that Bahrain has been invaded is race now to be known as the Saudi GP or the United Arab GP?

      Suzuka is about 500 km from the reactors that are melting down in Japan. Has Ernie made any comment about the feasibility of that raced being affected?

      Here’s a best to ya for the people that survive from both countries. I am happy I live in a part of the world that is well off and seemingly safe. Troubling times on the planet.

    12. Forget it and return next March for the 2012 season opener. Even if they did stick the race on the end of this season potentially the race could be in November and then 4 months later were there again..

    13. And the emergency is? That the people want an end too a system of privileged based on birth? That they want a say in their daily affairs? That they want to decide to the best to their own abilities the right to forge their own destiny? That they perhaps want a written constitution guaranteeing their rights?

      We still have 19 Grand Prixs enjoy this season. Let the people of Bahrain have their chance. It’s a very small trade off.

      1. Well said Alex.

        Right on the nail !

    14. Seems like Bahrain will have a tough time,it will be even tougher for F1 to go there. In the end we may have a situation where we will see the race in 2012.

    15. CNN is saying that Bahraini troops (or those brought in) have surrounded the hospital. Other soldiers who have gone in are busy beating up doctors and other staff.

      Keep it classy, Crown Prince. I wonder if Mr. E is so determined to “support the King” now – unfortunately, I suspect that the answer is ‘yes’.

      Don’t worry, I’m sure that enough blood will be spilled to allow everyone to conveniently forget by the end of the season, so the race can go on.

      Commenters like Steve up there will no doubt feel that the few hours of television they get in return will be more than worth the lives lost, and the future of the Bahraini people.

      1. It is really looking very grim right now. Your Highness the Crown prince, giving them a month to get tired about protesting is no solution. Shooting them, beating them up and holding docotors from treating them even less.

        And manipulating your “good” citizens into believing you are “protecting” them from terrorists and racists
        now who is the racist there? And terrorist are very probalby being bred by your violence right now.


      Disgusting regime. And Bernie wants to get back there a.s.a.p. and thinks “F1 should stay out of politics”.


      Myself, I feel dirty enough every time I race at Sakhir in F1 2010 on my PS3.

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