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Channel 4 Formula One (F1) Drum News

Channel 4 journalists back in UK after being arrested and deported from Bahrain

By Hamish Mackay |

April 23, 2012 | 2 min read

A team of Channel 4 News journalists, including foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller, are back in the UK after being deported from Bahrain following their arrest while covering the controversial Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix.

Media Guardian reports that Miller, his cameraman, a producer, their driver and a prominent human rights campaigner were arrested by Bahrain authorities while filming a demonstration in the Gulf city on Sunday.

In an audio dispatch from the back of a police car, Miller said the police were very aggressive and violently attacked the group's driver.

The three Channel 4 News journalists were released from detention after nearly six hours and deported to the UK late last night.

The driver, named Ali, and human rights activist, Dr Ala'a Shehabi, were released later.

A Channel 4 News spokeswoman said: "We are pleased to confirm that our team is safe and on their way back to the UK. We also have confirmation that the team's driver – who they saw assaulted by Bahraini authorities – and human rights activist Dr Ala'a Shehabi have also been released."

As with journalists from other news organisations, the Channel 4 News team had not been granted accreditation to enter the country to cover the planned demonstrations around the weekend's Formula One race.

Bahrain authorities granted permission only to journalists who regularly cover Formula One, and denied official entry to reporters from Channel 4 News, Sky News, CNN, Reuters and the Financial Times, among others.

The arrests – described by Miller as not particularly pleasant – will expose the Bahraini authorities to further international pressure over its role in attempting to suppress protests in the capital, Manama.

Bahraini authorities refused to give back the cameras and computers of the Channel 4 News crew, Miller tweeted late on Sunday.

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