Bahrain Grand Prix should not proceed

Author: Kirsty Hughes, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship, in Financial Times , Published on: 12 April 2012

From outside Bahrain, we would agree that the political, security and human rights context in Bahrain today all militate against this high-profile, profitable business and sporting event going ahead in a “business as usual” way: political freedoms deserve the support of business too. As has been shown time and again in the multifarious protests of the Arab Spring in the past 17 months, people across the Arab world want political freedom – including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly – as well as economic opportunities and growth. This is a combination international businesses should find it in their own interests to support...Despite this, the Bahraini government wants to bask in the positive international publicity it anticipates receiving through the Formula One motor race going ahead. Yet all the signs are that the government is likely to intensify its harsh clampdown on local activists before and during the Grand Prix, with these and other so-called “security measures” risking endangering human rights activists, racegoers and Formula One team members alike. Until the government of Bahrain shows a real commitment to reforms promised in the Bahrain Independent Commission for Inquiry report last November and respects the fundamental human rights of its own citizens, international events such as the Bahrain Grand Prix should not proceed.

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Related companies: Formula One Group