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Anonymous Defaces F1 Racing Sites For #OpBahrain

The collective seeks to end the rule of Bahrain's king

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Anonymous Defaces F1 Racing Sites For #OpBahrain
[ Technology]

Anonymous is involved in a lot of operations, but many of them don’t get much attention until they do something drastic. It’s unfortunate in a way since it takes a defacement to actually get our attention. Today’s defacement is centered on #OpBahrain, an operation that seeks to remove Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Al Khalifa from power.

Today is a pretty big day in the country because it’s the start of the Formula One grand prix. According to the Guardian, the Crown Prince of Bahrain said that canceling the race would “empower extremists.”

While thousands of Bahrain citizens protest the race, Anonymous is protesting it in their own unique way. They have begun to take down and deface F1 racing sites that are taking part in the grand prix today alongside the usual governmental Web sites.

The official Formula 1 site is now down with F1-racers.net having been defaced. The defacement contains this message:

Greetings from Anonymous

For over one year the people of Bahrain have struggled against the oppressive regime of King Hamad bin Al Khalifa. They have been murdered in the streets, run over with vehicles, beaten, tortured, tear gassed, kidnapped by police, had their businesses vandalised by police, and have tear gas thrown in to their homes on a nightly basis.

Still the regmine persists to deny any meaningful reform and continues to use brutal and violent tactics to oppress the popular calls for reformation. Not only is the Human Rights situation in Bahrain tragic, it becomes more drastic with each passing day. For these reasons the F1 Grand Prix in Bahrain should be strongly opposed. The Al Khalifa regime stands to profit heavily off the race and has promised to use live ammunition against protestors in preparation. They have already begun issuing collective punishment to entire villages for protests and have promised further retribution “to keep order” for the F1 events in Bahrain. The Formula 1 racing authority was well-aware of the Human Rights situation in Bahrain and still chose to contribute to the regime’s oppression of civilians and will be punished.

We demand the immediate release of human rights worker Abdulhadi Alkhawaja who has spent over 70 days on hunger strike. He has committed no crimes and is being punished by the regime for advocating people’s basic human rights. Free him and all other political prisoners in Bahrain. End torture. Deport all mercenary police and stop the use of tear gas against civilians.

We Do Not Forgive. We Do Not Forget. Expect Us.

On top of that, Anonymous has also issued a press release detailing their grievances with the Bahrain government:

1) This is NOT a Shia uprising against a Sunni government. It is a popular and peaceful revolt against the medieval concept of absolute monarchy. It is a movement that spans all strata and sectors of society, and all religions in Bahrain. It is a movement that demands only freedom, justice – and democracy.

2) This government is not quelling violent protests, it is brutally and violently crushing peaceful dissent.

3) This government is NOT legitimate. It is a tyrannical, barbaric – and human rights violating dictatorship. And ANYONE doing business with this regime have the blood of Bahrain’s Freedom Martyrs on their hands.

It seems that the group isn’t done yet with the protests expected to last all weekend. It might explode into something much bigger as well with the revelation that the King’s forces may be using live rounds on the protesters to keep the F1 race running smoothly.

Follow the hashtag #OpBahrain on Twitter to get all the latest details from Anonymous and those protesting the race today. We’ll keep you updated if anything big happens as well.

Anonymous Defaces F1 Racing Sites For #OpBahrain
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