Pro-Democracy Activists Ask Ecclestone to Give Up 2011 Bahrain GP

Although some officials of the Bahrain Grand Prix told the media less than two weeks back that the country is now ready to open its doors to Formula 1 action in 2011, pro-democracy activists in the Kingdom have now confirmed otherwise.

In an open letter to Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone posted on Facebook, the “Youth of the 14 February Revolution” organization have asked the 80-year old Englishman not to reschedule the race in a country whose population is “being reduced to silence, killed, tortured, etc...”

We are addressing to you this open letter publicly regarding the organization of Bahrain Grand Prix,” red the message, “and we, citizen of Bahrain, and human rights supporters of the world, are asking you to consider the challenges to organize what should be a happy sporting event in the middle of a country under siege and martial law, surrounded by tanks and military forces (...).

Not mentioning the difficult climatic conditions, and the fact that organizing a motor sport festival in the middle of a despotic crackdown on the population, wouldn't be well understood and accepted worldwide.”

Also, in support of the population of Bahrain, we're asking you reconsider hosting Grand Prix of Bahrain until basic human rights and freedom are restored, and, if you wish, to issue a letter stating that the Grand Prix cannot, and will not, be organized in Bahrain until basic human rights and freedom are restored, and the repression is over.”

With your permission, we will display this letter of support on Facebook and other networks to show the solidarity of the Formula 1 sporting industry with the democratic and freedom aspirations of the Bahraini people!

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has given the Bahrain officials until May 1 to make up their mind on the potential rescheduling of the race, with a later date for the event (if any) to be discussed by Ecclestone and the F1 teams.

One week before Easter, F1 track chief Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa issued an official statement according to which the country is now ready to host an F1 race in 2011.

Now that security has prevailed and normal life has returned to Bahrain, thanks to the wise leadership, we are stepping up contacts to host the race anew,” he said.

The 2011 season opening Bahrain Grand Prix has been cancelled earlier this year due to political turmoil in the country and following violent clashes between pro-democracy activists and the local police, which led to several killings.
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