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Amnesty Advisor Criticizes Holding F1 Races in Authoritarian Countries, Including Bahrain

2023-03-02 - 4:36 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Frank Conde Tangberg, policy advisor for Amnesty International Norway, criticized Formula 1's holding of races in a number of authoritarian countries.

Tangberg said that the F1 race coincides with Amnesty International's annual reports, with competitions being held in a number of countries where human rights violations take place. He noted that the FIA has also imposed restrictions on athletes, which is a beginning to sportswashing through these events.

Tangberg confirmed in an article that the Bahraini authorities resort to car sports as a means to recognize it worldwide, thus "thinking about it will be associated with fast cars and not with human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who was sentenced to life in prison after being tortured."

Amnesty advisor spoke about the case of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, reviewing the link between Formula 1 and human rights violations and its politicization since its inception in 2004 in Bahrain, as well as the case of the murder of Salah Abbas, the arrest and trial of Najah Yusuf over protesting, and the loss of her job, in addition to the trial of her son later.

"Instead of facing human rights challenges in motorsport, the FIA decided to impose restrictions in regulations regarding protests by athletes," he noted.

"If sports organizations do not want athletes to protest, they should take the lead in this file," he said, noting that "the first opportunity for them to do so is the Bahrain Grand Prix."

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