Protest against holding F1 race in Bahrain
Bahraini people have been lobbying to achieve cancellation of the Formula 1 race scheduled to be held in Bahrain this weekend. Termed “Blood Formula” they have appealed to the organisers to stop what has now become virtual complicity in the serious human rights crimes being committed by the ruling Alkhalifa against political and civil society activists. There was praise to the organisers when they cancelled the race in 2011, but people were disappointed when they were held in 2012 and 2013. Both races were preceded and accompanied by serious human rights violations by the regime, including extra-judicial killing, mass arrests, torture and country-wide collective punishment.
This year, the same pattern of abuses has surfaced. In the past four weeks, two people were killed by regime’s Death Squads roaming civilian areas in plain clothes, more than 100 activists arrested to pre-empt protests and other civilian actions during the race period and scores of houses raided and ransacked by the security services. Yet the people have escalated their active opposition to the race which is viewed by the Alkhalifa hereditary tribal dictatorship as a source of international legitimacy compensating for the absence of people’s support to the regime.
In London, the pro-democracy activists have been holding a daily protest (Between 1.30 and 2 pm) outside theFormula 1 offices at 6 Princes Gate, London SW7 1QJ in Central London. They will continue until Sunday 6th April when the race is scheduled to end. They still hope that the race be cancelled.
Several reports on the moral crisis created by people’s rejection of F1 race in Bahrain have been discussed by responsible journalists in main stream media in recent days. 33 Members of UK Parliament have signed an Early Day Motion calling for F1 race in Bahrain to be cancelled. See below.
Organisers will be available for interviews at the protest.
ADHRB Files OECD Complaint against Formula One Activities in Bahrain
UK Parliament EDM 1194:
33 Members of UK Parliament have signed and Early Day Motion calling for F1 race in Bahrain to be cancelled
Amnesty International (2 April 2014):
Fears of renewed government crackdown ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix
CPJ & Reporters without Borders (for 6th April 2014):
Bahrain Racing in Circles (Thunderclap)
The Telegraph (2 April 2014):
Formula One steers clear of uglier realities in Bahrain where nightmare for its forgotten ones goes on and on
The Economist (2 April 2014):
Formula 1 in Bahrain: A dark affair
The Guardian (27 March 2014):
Dissident says taking Formula One to Bahrain increases human rights abuses
Equal Times (3 April 2014)::
Staging the Bahrain Grand Prix is “a matter of life and death”