No Bahrain travel alert for F1 fans

British motor racing fans are not being advised by the Foreign Office (FCO) against travelling to the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Government said on Thursday.

Bahrain Grand Prix.

Controversy surrounds this weekend's Formula One event in the Middle East amid the regime's crackdown on pro-democracy campaigners.

Last year's race was cancelled as international criticism grew over the bloodshed.

Speaking on Thursday as MPs discussed future Commons business, Labour MP and veteran human rights campaigner Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) said: "Amnesty International this week published a report which said nothing much has changed in Bahrain in the past year."

Despite calls for F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone to scrap the event, this year's race is due to go ahead.

Leader of the House Sir George Young said: "Although we are concerned by some of the violent exchanges still occurring in Bahrain and call on all sides to exercise restraint and follow the rule of law, at this stage the FCO is not giving any specific advice to visitors that they should cancel their visit."

He added: "The Formula One event is a matter for the Bahraini authorities and the organisers of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile - world motor sport's ruling body)."

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