F1 »

Activists call for Bahrain not to be rescheduled

Anti-government protesters in Bahrain have urged F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone not to reschedule the desert kingdom's grand prix until 'basic human rights are restored and the repression is over'
The chances of the beleaguered Bahrain Grand Prix being rescheduled on the F1 2011 World Championship calendar have been dealt another blow, with anti-government activists in the desert kingdom calling upon the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone not to give the race a new slot until 'basic human rights and freedoms are restored and the repression is over'.

Originally due to stage the season's curtain-raising event on 13 March, the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir was postponed in the wake of civil unrest in the tiny island-state as protesters launched a series of anti-government riots. Whilst hope was briefly restored as the troubles fleetingly abated, violence has since flared up again as the government has launched an increasingly earnest crackdown on dissidents.

Thirty people have died since the turmoil began on 14 February, whilst three players from the Bahraini national football team have joined the likes of journalists, bloggers, doctors, lawyers and activists in finding themselves detained by the government, as six clubs have pulled out of domestic leagues following 'pressure from Shiite political groups' and in a stand against the deaths of demonstrators.

According to the Bahrain Football Association, more than 150 players, coaches and referees have been suspended over the last three weeks for alleged involvement in the protests and refusal to play – with Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, vice-president of the Bahrain FA, telling The Associated Press that 'there is a fine and punishment of course,' hinting at potential relegation for deliberate non-participation.

“They could not work normally when protesters are killed in their villages,” asserted Mohammed Al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights. “The authorities want to tell them that you are supporting the protests and this is the punishment. It's not fair. Just because you are a sportsman doesn't mean it's wrong to be political. Everyone in the world has ideas about something. Everyone has the right to get involved.”

There is now a mere matter of days until the 1 May deadline for Bahrain Grand Prix organisers to inform the FIA of whether or not the nation will be able to host the race later on in the campaign, but Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa has conceded that the rulers are still dealing with 'a number of significant issues'.

Moreover, pro-democracy group Youth of Feb. 14 Revolution has set up a Facebook group and petitioned Ecclestone to keep F1 away from Bahrain until 'basic human rights are restored and the repression is over', reasoning in an open letter to the Formula One Management chief executive that it remains 'a country under siege and martial law, surrounded by tanks and military forces'.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.04.2011- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Sunday, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Thursday, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Saturday Practice, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Saturday, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Luca Di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Cosworth VR-01
Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30
Vitantonio Liuzzi (I) Force India Mercedes VJM03
Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F10
Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Jose - Unregistered

April 26, 2011 9:36 PM

Well we could say this is a test for Uncle Bernie's sensitivity to the cause of basic human rights.. The best thing for F1 is to completely bypass Bahrain until a stable government accepted by the world community is running the country. Really for some reason it looks like the Rulers of F1 is tinkering with the stupid idea of staging a race. Bernie and company really have only one road to take, really its simple, when the PEOPLE are ready and request a F1 event then the time is right... Badman, Jose



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.