The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has been spearheading the campaign to halt the Formula One race in Bahrain today because of continuing human rights abuses in the country.
The green-light for the 2012 Grand Prix to be held in Bahrain today illustrates this disregard for democratic reform amidst the injustice.
The al-Khalifa regime in Bahrain has attempted desperately to ensure that the 2012 Grand Prix is held in the country. It has been backed by politicians, as well as business and sporting interests that have aimed to convince the world that Bahrain is a functioning democracy.
Since February 2011, at least seventy people – including women, children and the elderly – have been killed by Bahraini security forces and Saudi-led troops. There are at present at least six-hundred political prisoners in Bahrain, including many opposition leaders. Activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has been on hunger strike for over seventy days.
It is clear that democratic reform is not underway in Bahrain. The Grand Prix is being used as a political tool by the Bahraini regime to legitimise its disregard for human rights, and as a smokescreen to cloak its brutality. The situation is increasingly dire.
To hold the Grand Prix in Bahrain will be a gross insult to the Bahraini people – whose calls for freedom have been callously ignored by a regime that continues to murder, torture, arrest and intimidate ordinary people. There is still time for Formula One’s management to stop the race to legitimize torture and oppression.Read more of the IHRC campaign here
See also Guardian article, Bahrain Grand Prix to go ahead despite protester's death
And the BBC Bahrain Grand Prix: Crown prince backs race despite protests