Three journalists from the U.K.’s Channel 4 news were chased down by police and deported from Bahrain after shooting footage of local demonstrations against the Formula One Grand Prix and the ruling regime.
The pursuit — by riot police and helicopters — began while the Channel 4 group was filming a F1 protest Sunday in the Mideast monarchy.
Foreign correspondent Jonathan Miller, producer Dave Fuller and cameraman Joe Sheffer were arrested and detained for several hours before being sent home.
They had initially been barred from covering the race and the protests but had snuck into the country as tourists.
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The clashes between opposition groups and the Bahraini government have claimed around 60 lives since February 2011. Last year’s event was called off as widespread unrest in the region sparked the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and other neighboring nations.
Resistance leaders were divided about whether this year’s F1 should also be cancelled in light of the ongoing political turmoil. The controversy attracted the attention of hactivist group Anonymous, who launched an online offensive against Formula One’s official web hub as well as another site, F1-racers.net, last week.
On Sunday, the race went forward as planned, and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel was the first to cross the finish line.