For Immediate Release: June 2, 2011
Washington, D.C.—A decision from the Formula 1 authorities on whether Bahrain will be allowed to host a Grand Prix event later in 2011 is expected on Friday, June 3. Following recent reports that peaceful protestors across Bahrain have been attacked by security forces, it appears that the crackdown is continuing, despite yesterday’s official lifting of Bahrain’s State of Safety. Bahrain’s inability to ease sectarian tensions proves it is not ready to host the race.
Earlier this week, Human Rights First issued a statement urging the U.S. government to publicly call on the Bahraini authorities to protect human rights defenders after the national emergency laws were lifted. Continued human rights violations indicate that the Bahraini government is unable to respect and protect basic rights of freedoms of assembly and expression, and further suggest the nation is incapable of hosting a major international sporting event.
“After months of violent crackdown, the Bahraini government should start protecting human rights,” said HRF’s Brian Dooley. “Do the Formula 1 authorities and the brands that support them really want to be associated with a Bahraini government that seizes people in the middle of the night and tortures them? With disappearances and deaths in custody? Awarding the Grand Prix to the repressive regime will disappoint Formula 1 fans everywhere.”