April 17 - Amnesty International releases a report criticizing Bahrain for human rights violations as eyes turn toward the country for the Formula One Grand Prix this weekend. Lindsey Parietti reports.
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Riot police chase protesters in Bahrain.
The government-ordered crackdowns come amid promises of reform.
Ongoing unrest has prompted calls to cancel the Formula One Grand Prix race, which the country will host on Sunday.
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International released a damning 58-page report ahead of the event to draw awareness to what Executive Director Suzanne Nossel calls a "grave human rights situation".
SOUNDBITE) (English) SUZANNE NOSSEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA, SAYING:
"At this moment you know eyes turn to Bahrain on the occasion of the Formula One race, that people take account of the grave human rights situation there. That they're mindful of protesters who's rights are being violated, people who are being held in detention for the simple exercises of basic human rights that we take for granted here in this country and many parts of the world. So if you're going to turn on the tv and focus on Bahrain this week-end you ought to focus on the full picture."
A commission set up by Bahrain's king submitted a report last November that criticized human rights violations in the suppression of anti-government protests, and a crackdown that left at least 30 people dead.
But despite this public admission, Amnesty says little has been done in response.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SUZANNE NOSSEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA, SAYING:
"We see window dressing in the form of independent investigation that gave an aura of seriousness on the part of the government in terms of living up to their human rights responsibilities but very little in the way of follow through."
Activists are calling for ongoing demonstrations leading up to the race, which injects an estimated half a billion dollars into Bahrain's economy
Lindsey Parietti, Reuters
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