AP Sports Writer
SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) -- Formula One returns this week to Bahrain, casting the spotlight on a series that has defied criticism to race on while a bloody political crisis has engulfed one of the West's most important allies in the region.
The Bahrain Grand Prix has drawn less attention than a year ago when F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone at the last minute decided to go ahead with the race despite calls by some rights groups for a boycott.
But criticism has intensified in the past week, after explosions sparked security concerns and a Human Rights Watch report alleged that authorities rounded up activists living around the track in a bid to "silence" dissent ahead of the race on Sunday.
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