Open letter to Formula 1 management (FIA) and teams – Bahrain Freedom Movement

We are here to protest holding the F1 race in Bahrain and call for its cancellation

20th April 2011Mr Bernie EcclestoneF1 Management Team, LondonApart from the Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship no sensible person, political or human rights body has expressed agreement to holding the F1 race in Bahrain. In addition to the security imperatives, the races is seen as an endorsement of a regime that has been found by its own created and funded investigation commission to have engaged in systematic torture, extra-judicial killings and dismal attention to the most basic of human rights. Yesterday credible and reputable media has been banned from entering Bahrain including Reuters, Agence France Press and others for fear of coverage the protests and demonstrations that have continued within the 14th February revolution. Meanwhile John Yates, the former Deputy-Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has confirmed two disturbing things; that he, as the main man controlling the Alkhalifa brutal police and security services, cannot guarantee the safety of the teams taking part in the most controversial race in Formula One history and that he may resort to the use of live ammunition against demonstrators. Bahrainis are not against F1 but against propping up the regime and breaking its isolation.In these circumstances, the question is: What enjoyment will remain for the fans of the F1 race? How could the drivers take part efficiently and professionally if their own safety is not guaranteed and the lives of other fellow human beings are under threat by the ruthless police forces of one of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East? Furthermore; how could you give the go-ahead to a race when at least two of the most senior opposition figures are on their death beds; once suffering from Cancer while the other spending his 70th day on hunger strike? Haven’t you listened to the pleas of the mothers of martyrs and torture victims? They have all said in one voice: No to F1 race in Bahrain. How could you allow a normal sports event to take place in an extremely abnormal circumstance?When your drivers take to the tracks at Sakhir, the hearts of the grief-stricken mothers, orphaned children and widowed women will be full of fury, anguish and disappointment. They will be praying to their Lord that those who have caused their misery be afforded the appropriate justice. What would you say if you happen to meet face-to-face with one of them? A man with your seniority and experience would have at least listened to the calls from all corners of the world for the cancellation of this year’s Gran Prix in Bahrain. Your heart is expected to throb in tune with those of the bereaved and pain-stricken. Has the life-given wisdom abandoned those who are in a position to take a humane decision to take an alternative course of action especially after the regime cracked down hard on demonstrators in the past few days? This aggression has been recorded live and broadcasted over the TV screens all over the world. You would have been awarded great respect and admiration if you had taken the courageous decision and cancelled the race.It is not too late yet. The next 48 hours are crucial in the race, not among the F1 teams, but between the right and wrong; the executioner and the victim and between vice and virtue. You can still take the decision that would rank you among the brave, the humane and the wise of the world reputable personalities. Failing this, history will be harsh on those who abandon their moral responsibility and remain hostage to their “contractual” terms which are, sometimes, counter to the values and wisdom of the human conscience.Please act now and save the lives and freedom of Bahrainis as well as the welfare and integrity of F1 and its teams.Dr Saeed ShehabiBahrain Freedom MovementEmail:

Tel: 020 7724 3033

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