Amnesty: Bahrain crisis not over
Amnesty International have issued a damning report into the current state of Bahrain a week ahead of the staging of the grand prix.
Human rights campaigners Motor sport's world governing body, the FIA, confirmed on Friday the race is to go ahead on April 22 on the basis they are "satisfied all security measures air in place".
Amnesty, however, claim in the opening line of their release that "the human rights crisis in Bahrain is not over".
The report adds: "Despite the authorities' claims to the contrary, state violence against those who oppose the Al Khalifa family rule continues.
"In practice, not much has changed in the country since the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in February and March 2011."
It was that crackdown and the subsequent deaths of a number of demonstrators and imprisonment of many others that resulted in the cancellation of last year's grand prix.
This year's event was understood to be in the balance until the FIA finally stuck their head above the parapet and declared the event safe to attend.
Those words were echoed by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone who said "there is nothing happening", claiming to know people there who have said it is "all very quiet and peaceful".
Amnesty, however, paint a very different picture as they claim little has been done since the release of the Bahrain Independent Commission Inquiry (BICI) report last year that looked into the human rights violations committed in the wake of the anti-government protests.
Amnesty claim the government's response has "only scratched the surface", that "reforms have been piecemeal" and that "human rights violations are continuing unabated".
The report added: "They are keen to portray Bahrain as a stable and secure country in order to stave off international criticism.
"But as the country prepares to host the Formula One Grand Prix after the event was cancelled last year in response to the instability in the country, daily anti-government protests continue to be violently suppressed by the riot police that uses tear gas recklessly and with fatal results.
"Acts of violence by some protesters against the police have also considerably increased in the last three months.
"Holding the grand prix in Bahrain in 2012 risks being interpreted by the government of Bahrain as symbolising a return to business as usual.
"The international community must not turn a blind eye to the ongoing human rights crisis in the country.
"The government must understand that its half-hearted measures are not sufficient. Sustained progress on real human rights reform remains essential."
The latest protest in Bahrain unfolded on Friday, with thousands taking to the streets for a funeral march.
A demonstration is expected on Saturday outside the British Embassy in the capital, Manama.