Ecclestone Says F1 Race to Continue Despite Criticisms
Formula One (F1) boss Bernie Ecclestone announced that ”The [Grand Prix Race] is on the calendar. Unless it gets withdrawn by the national sporting authority in the country, we will be there.” John Yates, former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police in London, told the FIA (F1′s governing body) that he has felt safer in Bahrain than he sometimes has in London. However, the violence continued in the streets as a retaliatory, Sunni-led attack on Shi’a villages reportedly took place. According to Al Wefaq, ”The security forces did not carry out their duty. They did not disperse the [assailants] or prevent them from attacking citizens,” adding that the authorities must “deal with these militias.” David Hobbs argues that the F1 race should not continue this year. “F1 represents a global sport or business which has influence and power across a broad spectrum ranging from individual racing fans to international corporations,” he writes, “All the talk coming from Ecclestone and the teams about Bahrain relates to safety – that’s their safety, not of those beyond the race track’s perimeter fence.”
Meanwhile, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims released its own statement about Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, saying “enough is enough.” It urged for his release, and added that the perpetrators of his torture must be brought to justice.