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F1 urged to speak up in the face of Bahrain government crackdown

• Jean Todt called upon to act in case of activist Najah Yusuf
• ‘Any gathering of six or seven people chanting will be attacked’

Small-scale protests against the Bahrain Grand Prix are expected across the country this weekend, according to the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Bird), with the mass demonstrations that characterised the 2011 and 2012 meetings not likely to be repeated due to the climate of fear and crackdowns that now precede Formula One races in Bahrain.

The institute was one of 15 human rights groups that sent a letter to the FIA president, Jean Todt, and F1 management on Wednesday calling on it to act in the case of the Bahraini activist Najah Yusuf , who has been imprisoned since last year after posting criticism of the grand prix and the regime on Facebook.

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