Sodium Haze: Bahrain GP 2011 - kick it in the sponsors!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Bahrain GP 2011 - kick it in the sponsors!

The disgraceful decision to force 12 unwilling F1 teams to compete in a sham PR exercise for the Bahrain government must be challenged.

Here are just a few of the human rights abuses recorded by the neutral organisation Human Rights Watch in Bahrain this year.

You can find them all and many more - here.

  • "The world watched with horror as security forces in Bahrain killed at least seven peaceful protesters and wounded hundreds more. The protesters were seeking a measure of political accountability from the ruling Al Khalifa family and an end to discrimination against Shia Bahrainis."

  • "Bahraini authorities refused to let injured people reach the country's largest public health facility on March 16, 2011, and interfered with medical services at other facilities as well. Security forces prevented ambulances transporting injured people from reaching the hospitals.

  • "Nighttime raids by masked men accompanied by uniformed security personnel have become disturbingly familiar in Bahrain," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The state is now unabashedly terrorizing anyone including doctors who dared to support pro-democracy protesters during the past several weeks."

  •  Bahraini security forces have frequently shown a reckless disregard for human life during crackdowns on protesters," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Firing birdshot pellets at close range is not crowd control - it can be murder."  At least 15 people have died since riot police and troops initiated a second round of offensives against anti-government protesters on March 15

  • Bahraini authorities are systematically targeting demonstrators and bystanders wounded in anti-government protests for harassment and mistreatment, and in some cases denying them critical care.

  • Arbitrary detention appears rampant under Bahrain's state of emergency, with numerous cases in which authorities have abused people they detained or stopped. Bahrain should account for everyone who has been detained and free those arbitrarily arrested following recent public protests.

  • More than two dozen uniformed and plainclothes security officers, most of whom were masked, raided the home of prominent defense lawyer Mohammed al-Tajer on the evening of April 15, 2011, and arrested him.

  • Human rights conditions in Bahrain have grown increasingly grave since mid-March, when the government violently put down pro-democracy and anti-government street protests. Since then, we have seen an unrelenting official campaign of punitive retribution against Bahrainis who participated in or otherwise supported the protests.

Is this a government that should be allowed the veneer of a civilised international sporting event?

We are not going to be holding a grand prix in Syria or Libya - why ON EARTH are we having one in Bahrain? It is an absolute ethical and moral disgrace!

just this morning we had this from The Independent:

"In the run up to the decision on Formula One, police patrols have sought to prevent any demonstrations and controversial trials of pro-democracy protesters have been postponed. Ayat al-Gormezi, the 20-year-old girl poet, who was to be tried by a military tribunal on a charge of stirring up hatred and insulting the King, has had her trial put off until 6 June."


"Of the 108 local staff of the government-owned Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), which hosts Formula One, some 28 were detained and mistreated according to a source in Bahrain close to the event. All of those arrested are Shia and have since been sacked. Five of these are still in prison including the chief financial officer Jaafar Almansoor, an employee of BIC told Reuters news agency.

"They made us beat and kick each other," said the employee, who did not want to be named, describing their 20 days in detention. "They said they'd rape us. They tried to touch you in various places to make you think it's going to happen." The prisoners were insulted for being Shia and, on being released, were told not to talk to the media. "

Well  am not just sitting idly by while this happens!

It is unconscionable that the human rights abuses perpetrated by this government should be rewarded with the prized bauble of a Grand Prix - this regime is cynically using this event as a way of obscuring its crimes in Bahrain and implying a normalcy that is an insult to every person murdered, beaten , tortured and detained.

If formula 1 cannot put its own house in order then it should be forced to do so - it is time to kick the Bahrain GP right in the sponsors!
Here is a list of the Formula 1 teams with a contact for each on FaceBook. I have also included contacts for the governing body of F1 the FIA and FoTA (the teams association)

I implore readers of this blog to let the teams and the corporate sponsors know exactly what they think about the decision to go ahead with the GP in Bahrain this year.

Peaceful un-armed protestors have been shot and killed. Medics who tried to treat the wounded arrested, detained and beaten. Tell Red Bull, Virgin, Mercedes, Ferrari and all the rest that civilised people do not want a grand prix in a country that kills its own unarmed citizens at a peaceful protest!!

Red Bull Racing :  

Mclaren Mercedes:

Ferrari F1:


Lotus / Renault:


Force India:


Toro Rosso:

Lotus F1:


Virgin Racing:

FIA e-mail address:

F1 Teams association email address:







** Please share this page with as many people as possible - lets kick this shameful GP in the sponsors!!

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