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Bahraini campaigner disputes Yates 'GP safe' claim

A London-based Bahraini pro-democracy campaigner has responded to John Yates over his suggestions that he feels safer in Bahrain than in London.

Yates, a former UK head of counter terrorism who is an advisor for the Bahrain's Ministry of the Interior, wrote to FIA president Jean Todt to give him reassurances about the situation in the country ahead of next week's grand prix.

Yates wrote that F1 is being presented with a distorted picture of the Bahrain situation, adding: "Along with my family, I feel completely safe. Indeed, safer than I have often felt in London."

UK-based Bahraini pro-democracy campaigner Ali Mushaim said the Bahrain area will not be safe for Formula 1.

"The people are very angry. I don't think that the area will be safe," he told the Independent. "If the Bahraini people don't feel safe in their country, they cannot give any foreign people guarantees to be safe when Formula 1 comes to Bahrain.

"The Bahraini people are peaceful. However, if Formula 1 comes to Bahrain, I don't know what will happen - but I don't think everything will be peaceful."

Mushaima, reported by the Independent to be on hunger strike since April 4, said the situation in Bahrain had not changed since the race was cancelled last year.

"Last year Formula 1 didn't come to Bahrain for the same reason," he added. "There are still human rights abuses, many hundreds of Bahrainis are in prison, and still the villages are being attacked, Bahrain is occupied by Saudi troops. Nothing has changed."

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