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GP Week : Issue 136
F1 NEWS >> BAhRAIn’S place on the 2012 Formula one calendar is set to come under fire following recent events in the small Gulf nation. Last week in Bahrain, 20 doctors and nurses accused of a variety of crimes against the state during February’s Pearl Roundabout protests were sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison. The list of crimes they had been accused of included – but was not limited to – “inciting hatred to the regime and insulting it, instigating hatred against another sect and obstructing the implementation of law, destroying public property and taking part in gatherings aimed at jeopardising the general security and committing crimes.” According to the defendants, they were guilty only of treating wounded protesters contrary to the wishes of the government and local security forces. “Our sentences were preordained,” the accused doctors and nurses said in a statement released after the trial. “ The trials we have been going through are nothing but a playing card in a game of politics ... Our only crime was that during the unrest earlier this year we were outspoken witnesses to the bloodshed and the brutal treatment by the security forces.” The trial of the accused medical staff has been criticized by the United Nations, who expressed concern that many of the defendants had not been charged with a recognizable offence. Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva: “For such harsh sentences to be handed down to civilians in a military court with serious due process irregularities raises severe concerns. “ We understand — according to our sources that we trust — that defendants have had limited access to lawyers, and in most cases lawyers definitely did not have enough time to prepare their clients’ defense properly.” Those doctors and nurses who had been detained by security staff spoke of torture and abuse while in custody, and the government of Bahrain set up an independent commission to investigate those claims. The commission’s report is due at the end of the month. On Friday, the United Nations announced that it would set up a separate investigation into the abuse claims, which have been widely reported by international human rights organisations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Bahrain GP ethics queried as UN investigates abuse claims Kubica return deadline set for November Experience F1 TM with the hotel choice of champions Hilton Hotels and Resorts exclusive partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes means you can stay in the centre of the F1 action when you book a Grand Prix weekend package. For more information or to book, please visit hiltonracing.com Click here to book now Daniele Morelli speaks about his optimism for a 2012 Kubica return 13