For Immediate Release:
June 7, 2011
Contact: Brianna Cayo Cotter, Avaaz, +1 415 305 1943
FIA Report on Bahrain Leaked, Sham Report Says “No Human Rights Violated"
Avaaz calls for reverse of FIA decision on Bahrain
*Leaked FIA Report on Bahrain available for download at http://avaaz.org/fia_report*
* Video of attacks on Bahraini protesters after June 1 lifting of emergency law available at http://revolutionreports.
London, UK - Today, the global campaigning organization Avaaz released a leaked copy of the FIA Bahrain report which informed Formula One’s decision Friday to go ahead with the race despite human rights concerns. Following a government-sponsored PR tour through Bahrain, FIA Commissioner Carlos Gracia concluded in his report that there is an “atmosphere of total calm and stability,” that “life in Bahrain is completely normal again,” and that “no human rights were violated,” contradicting numerous accounts of brutal repression and violence against doctors, nurses, and citizens.
Ricken Patel, Executive Director at Avaaz said:
“Reading the FIA’s Bahrain report is like stepping into the Twilight Zone. While FIA's sham report says that no human rights have been violated, at least 31 Bahrain citizens have been killed and hundreds more tortured and imprisoned. Formula One based their decision to race in Bahrain on this dangerously irresponsible report, a decision now universally opposed by the F1 teams. Formula One must pull out of Bahrain immediately or have their reputation forever tarnished.”
The report details Gracia’s visit to Bahrain in late May during which he visited only with government bodies, did not confer with credible human rights groups, and did not talk with injured people, torture victims, or families of the people who have died.
Maryam Al-Khawaja, from the independent Bahrain Center for Human Rights, on seeing the report today, said “the report is disastrously unbalanced. The FIA has chosen to turn a blind eye to the ongoing violations in Bahrain. The government should allow independent human rights groups to do their work in Bahrain.”
Independent journalists and human rights organizations confirm that at least 31 people have been killed since the protests began on 14th February 2011, and more than 800 arrests have been made, including 108 members of the Grand Prix Circuit’s permanent staff. At a trial yesterday of 47 Bahraini medical staff who were arrested for treating injured people at protests, it was revealed that detainees are being tortured.
450,000 people from around the world have signed the Avaaz petition calling on teams not to race in “brutal Bahrain” this year at: http://www.avaaz.org/en/no_
Avaaz is a global campaigning organization with over 9 million members from every country on the planet. www.Avaaz.org.
For Immediate Release: