To borrow one of Bernie Ecclestone’s oft used comments during last weekend’s Grand Prix, “It’s business as usual” in Bahrain.
Shortly after the race on Sunday, a British news team from Channel 4 television were chased by riot police on foot, in cars and armoured riot vehicles. A police helicopter was used to keep them under surveillance.
Amid calls for democracy the Bahrain government have been censoring news of unrest in their country by refusing to admit legitimate news agencies from around the world, including those from Channel 4 News, Reuters, CNN, Sky News and Financial Times. Permission had only been granted over the Grand Prix weekend to sports journalists who regularly cover Formula One.
The Channel 4 team, who had not been granted the official accreditation, were spotted by security forces filming a small anti-government, pro-democracy demonstration in the Gulf city. When they attempted to leave by car, the chase by security forces began.
When the pursuit came to an end journalist Jonathan Miller, his producer, cameraman, their driver and prominent human rights activist Dr Ala’a Shehabi were detained by the roadside for an hour during which time they were subjected to verbal abuse and physically assault. They were then taken by security van to a police station and detained for a further 7 hours, after which the British members of the team were deported back to the UK.
Bahraini authorities refused to give back the cameras and computers of the Channel 4 News crew, Miller tweeted late on Sunday.
In the link below, correspondent Jonathan Miller describes the treatment they received while being held in custody.
• Channel 4 News team arrested & deported from Bahrain – Channel 4 News
There are 2 videos on this page. First some predictable bullshit from Bahrain spokesman Sheik Aziz. The second is by foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller.