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Bahrain racing in circles

Every year, the Bahraini government hopes the roar of Formula One cars will drown out criticism for the regime’s human rights violations. This year, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) asks you to ensure that does not happen.

An anti-government protester waves a Bahraini national flag on November 2013 as he sits next to a poster showing news photographer Ahmed Humaidan, whose trial began on 12 February 2013. Humaidan received a 10-year jail sentence by a Bahraini court on 26 March 2014.
An anti-government protester waves a Bahraini national flag on November 2013 as he sits next to a poster showing news photographer Ahmed Humaidan, whose trial began on 12 February 2013. Humaidan received a 10-year jail sentence by a Bahraini court on 26 March 2014.

REUTERS/Stringer

Join a global call to action asking the government to allow journalists to report freely in Bahrain, whether they cover changing tires on the racetrack or burning tires on the street. Your participation in this Thunderclap action will create a social media flash mob timed to the starting gun of the F1 race on 6 April 2014, at 6 p.m. local Bahraini time/11 a.m. EST. Have your voice heard over the roar of race car engines.

Let's achieve the goal of reaching an audience of 1.3 million people—one for every person in Bahrain.



How to Show Your Support
1. Join the #F1 Thunderclap action and support the campaign with Twitter, Facebook, or both.

2. Tell all of your friends and followers to join the campaign.

3. On April 6, watch as everyone's messages are simultaneously shared at the start of the F1 race.

4. Continue speaking out for press freedom in Bahrain using the #F1 hashtag.

Background
CPJ and RSF have documented a consistent attempt by the Bahraini government to censor the press since the launch of a mass protest movement on February 14, 2011. In that time, at least three news providers have been killed for their work and many more have been subject to arrest and even torture. Many news providers remain imprisoned today. Several journalists have been forced into exile in fear for their safety.

The government has also limited access to international journalists and human rights organizations seeking to cover the ongoing unrest and repression in the country, including the imprisoned IFEX member, Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Meanwhile, some protesters on the street have assaulted journalists considered sympathetic to the government.

Maryam al-Khawaja, the acting president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and co-director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, mentioned in an interview that Fomula One causes human rights violations in Bahrain: "We've had people killed during the race to try and prevent protests. We've seen women arrested, severely tortured, stripped naked and sexually assaulted. We've had people beaten on the streets, we've had mass arbitrary arrests, before, during and after the race. And these are all things that are happening because the race is being held.”

Help put the brakes on press censorship in Bahrain by joining this campaign.

For more information on freedom of expression in Bahrain and the latest roundup of activities surrounding Formula One, please visit:
http://www.cpj.org/mideast/bahrain/
http://en.rsf.org/bahrain.html
http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/6813

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Filipino journalists threatened on social media - IFEX https://t.co/YoKVkyQ9oV @RSF_inter @tweet_gamag @IWMF