The Guardian: Sayed Ahmad Al-Wadaei: If F1 can't Help Protect Ordinary Bahrainis, stop Grand Prix

2017-04-17 - 9:12 p

Bahrain Mirror- Exclusive: Sayed Ahmad Al-Wadaei said in an article in the British "The Guardian" newspaper that "the grand prix coincides with heightened repression in Bahrain".

He added "As the grand prix returns this weekend, Rajab and thousands of victims like him are betrayed by the silence of Theresa May's government and Donald Trump's administration," indicating that "while the regime in Bahrain is a hereditary monarchy, and the UK and the US are supposedly democracies, they do have one crucial thing in common: They value business deals over the lives of Bahrainis. Financial interest trumps the people's right to a life free of fear and persecution."

Al-Wadaei noted "That is why, even as horrific abuses of human rights are reported every day, both governments (UK and US) remain tied to Bahrain," adding that "To Bahrainis, where their fate is concerned, they see dictatorships and democracies allied against them."

He went on to say "When Formula One races in Bahrain, the message it sends out is that a Bahraini's sacrifices for self-determination mean nothing because they are not equal to those who live and enjoy their rights and democracies in the west," and that "it tells them that Enrique Iglesias' concert at the race track is more important than their rights to freedom, and that car races are more important than protesters' lives."

Sayed Ahmad stressed in his article that "Bahrain treats the race as a global-scale PR opportunity. Protesters, critics and activists are ruthlessly silenced while cameras focus on Lewis Hamilton tearing past the competition on the track, and donning Bahraini dress off it."

Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, a reporter asked activists why we should expect Formula One to care about the lives and rights of Bahrainis, when little such concern is shown by the governments of the UK and US. This came minutes after those same activists had said that indifference was the worst kind of cruelty.

He stated "As new management takes root in Formula One, fans have to ask themselves: do you want your sport to represent despotic countries? The Bahrain Grand Prix calls itself the place to be to enjoy the "sun, sea and sand", however "there are thousands in Bahrain who love the sun, sea and sand too - but are imprisoned for demanding their rights."

Sayed Ahmad Al-Wadaei concluded saying that "If F1 can't help protect ordinary Bahrainis, stop the grand prix".

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المصدر: Bahrain Mirror
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