Formula One has release a statement committing the sport to uphold human rights ahead of this weekend Bahrain Grand Prix. The gulf state has been facing protests since the start of the Arab Spring in early 2011.
In 2011 the race was cancelled after the Shi’ite Muslim majority to demand reforms in early 2011 led to a crackdown and forced the cancellation of that year’s race.
There was sporadic protests ever since and more were held on Friday as activists accused Bahrain’s Sunni rulers of again staging the event to paper over abuses.
The ‘Statement of Commitment to Respect for Human Rights’ was released without it being placed on the news section of the FOM website. The statement said “The Formula One Group is committed to respecting internationally recognised human rights in its operations globally.”
“Whilst respecting human rights in all of our activities, we focus our efforts in relation to those areas which are within our own direct influence.”
Adding to “understand and monitor through our due diligence processes the potential human rights impacts of our activities.”
In 2013 F1 boss Berine Ecclestone told The Guardian “We don’t go anywhere to judge how a country is run. I keep asking people, ‘What human rights?’. I don’t know what they are,” he said then. The rights are that people who live in the country abide by the laws of the country, whatever they are.”