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November 10, 2020

Joint Letter to the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile

We, the undersigned corporations, write to attract your attention to the human rights and press freedom violations committed using the Bahraini authorities, along with in opposition to human beings protesting the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Bahraini Government attaches prime importance to the Bahrain Grand Prix as a glamor reputation symbol of progress and global prestige. For this motive, the race has turned out to be a focus for protests calling for political reform as well as a pretext for the government to similarly crack down on unfastened speech and assembly.

Leading human rights companies have documented the spike in human rights abuses that arise every yr across the time of the race. The Bahraini authorities use such activities, and the lack of common situation approximately such violations, to sanitise—or “sports-wash”—its picture abroad while persevering with to abuse its residents regionally.

Since 2015, Formula One has had a human rights assertion, which it followed after a mediation system while Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) filed a criticism within the United Kingdom, in which the primary Formula One groups are based, below the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The hints emphasize the corporate duty to perform human rights due diligence and cooperate with legitimate processes in remediating impacts they have got prompted or contributed to. Its “Statement of Commitment to Respect for Human Rights” pledges: “The Formula 1 businesses are devoted to respecting the world over acknowledged human rights in its operations globally.”

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One case of Bahraini abuse is the imprisoned mom of 4 and Bahraini activist, Najah Yusuf, who was arbitrarily arrested and stated she was tortured and sexually assaulted every week after Facebook posts criticizing the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix had been posted on an account she co-managed.

The posts in question called for “No to Formula races on occupied Bahraini land,” and criticized the Bahrain Grand Prix for being“nothing more than a way for the al-Khalifa own family to whitewash their criminal report and gross human rights violations.” They were also known as for a “Freedom for the Formula 1 Detainees” march to put the highlight on protestors jailed for criticizing the Bahrain Grand Prix. These posts have been all blanketed in the evidence submitted by the Public Prosecution against her, and her social media pastime is opposing the Grand Prix changed into referenced in her court judgment.

Formula One publicly expressed problem in November 2018 approximately Ms. Yusuf’s case. The Bahraini Government continues to assert that her arrest and conviction “has nothing to do” with her protest of the Grand Prix. The Bahraini Government made similar claims when it comes to different excessive-profile political prisoners, including Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab and the own family participants of Bahraini pro-democracy activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei. Both Rajab and Alwadaei were gift throughout the OECD mediation system that led to Formula One adopting its human rights coverage in 2015.

Craig Bowen

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