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Bahrain: Boycott unnecessary

Following fresh calls from human rights group to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix, the organisers have insisted that action has been taken by the government in response to evidence of human rights violations.

The organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix have urged teams and drivers to ignore calls for the 2012 event to be boycotted.

Following renewed appeals from human rights groups over the weekend [see separate story - click here], a spokesperson for the Bahrain International Circuit said today that the 'race is supported by an overwhelming majority of people from all sections of society in Bahrain'.

“Last year, the King of Bahrain commissioned an independent report into alleged human rights abuses, the findings of which were published in November,” a spokesperson for the BIC explained.

“The report found evidence of human rights violations and made certain general and specific recommendations.

“The Government has fully acknowledged the findings of the report and is acting swiftly and convincingly on the recommendations.

“The Bahrain Grand Prix forms a fundamental part of the local economy. It is supported by an overwhelming majority of people from all sections of society in Bahrain and represents a symbol of national unity.

“The independent report was a milestone for Bahrain and we will now work tirelessly to ensure that the race is a great success.”

This year's Bahrain GP is scheduled to take place on April 22, round four on the F1 2012 calendar.

Tagged as: Bahrain , human rights , boycott

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David - Unregistered

January 09, 2012 11:17 PM

While I never normally agree with Max Mosley, he hit the nail on the head with this one. Having a race in Turkey or China or some other place with human rights abuses may raise problems, but at least the race happens entirely separately of those abuses. They have loads of other international events, they are not organised directly by the same people carrying out the abuses. Whereas the F1 is Bahrain's only international event, and they tried to silence the protests precisely in order that it could take place. Moreover, the race is the ideal symbol of 'no problems here, everything's calm'. In no other country could it serve this propaganda function to the same extent. This means that the race is itself a political football instrumentalised by the regime, and as such, F1 shouldn't touch it.

TGC - Unregistered

January 10, 2012 10:23 AM

Just a small point - though maybe not so very small but please be aware that the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights is an opposition political society in Bahrain. Also that very many Shia do not support the protests, a lot of which have been far from peaceful attacks carried by yobs egged on by "leaders" whose motives are not perhaps quite as portrayed. The regime has plenty of faults and is, belatedly, trying to improve matters. It is one of the most liberal in the region and certainly more so than a few other F1 host nations elsewhere, both now and in the past.

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