Bernie Ecclestone yesterday finally put rumors to rest and declared that the F1 race would definitely take place in Bahrain this year. He also claimed in his statement that everything is peaceful and quiet in Bahrain and that everybody is happy with the outcome of this decision. There had been much debate and deliberation prior to his announcement over whether or not the F1 race would be pulled from Bahrain due to the government’s ongoing heavy-handed repression and discrimination of its pro-democracy protesters. The reasons to why the people are protesting are varied and have been covered in this previous post so I wont recite the points again. But bear in mind since my post there have been have been a plethora of abuses of human rights and injustices that have occurred.
In hearing the news of the commencement of the F1 race as scheduled Amnesty responded criticizing the decision stating that:
“as the country prepares to host the Grand Prix, daily anti-government protests continue to be violently suppressed by the riot police that uses tear gas recklessly with fatal results.”
Not only that but on the same day as the announcement was made a young 14 year old boy was shot in the chest by government forces during a protest.
So peaceful and quiet Bernie says. If this is quiet and peaceful I’d like to see his idea of violent. Armagaddon is probably a walk in the park for this Hard-as-nails character. This race should not be held in a country which continues to ignore and repress the cries of its people.
But there are those who argue that the other side of the argument should be given some recognition. This side claims the F1 race will bring in revenue through tourism and jobs. To this I say yes it would, but right now ‘revenue’ is not what the country needs. Instead ‘Justice’ is what it should be seeking as the seeds of discontent and division continue to be sown. And anyway, whatever way you look at it, Bahrain is NOT exactly struggling economically. Fact: It’s not a picture of poverty and depravity. If it has survived countless years without the F1 race, I am sure it will manage to survive this year and the many more years to come without it. After all, this F1 race isn’t exactly going to be a constant yearly fixture on the Bahrani calendar.
Instead the Race should be cancelled. A message should be sent, however small, that no government who serves its needs over its peoples will be rewarded, be it with something as superficial as an international F1 race.
Injustice should not be Ignored, let alone rewarded.