By Claire Ferris-Lay:
Sunday, 8 January 2012 8:01 AM
F1 teams urged to boycott Bahrain Grand Prix
Human rights groups have urged Formula One teams to consider boycotting the Bahrain Grand Prix in April amid continued political unrest in the Gulf kingdom.
Bahrain’s season-opening race at Sakhir circuit was postponed last March after widespread political unrest in the country and the deaths of a number of pro-reform demonstrators.
Efforts were made to reschedule the race, but the Gulf state was eventually dropped from the 2011 calendar in June after protests from Formula One teams and drivers.
“We will do campaign for….drivers and teams to boycott. The government wants Formula One to tell the outside world that everything is back to normal,” said Nabeel Rajab, vice president for Bahrain Center for Human Rights.
“Formula One, if they come, they are helping the government to say [it is normal]. We would prefer it if they didn’t take part. I am sure the drivers and teams respect human rights.”
Reporters Without Borders deplores the way the Bahraini security forces continue to intimidate and attack journalists despite the undertakings that the government gave after an independent commission of enquiry released its report on the crackdown on anti-government protests during the first half of 2011: here.
Bahrain Interview: Nabeel Rajab – How Police Attacked the Manama March and Beat Me: here.