Will F1 reconsider its decision to return to Bahrain?

Bahrain’s special security court has awarded a death sentence to an anti-government protestor who was found guilty of killing a policeman during the opposition protests that swept the country earlier this year, leading to the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The man was one of many people to have been issued sentences by this kangaroo court, with over a dozen doctors and nurses issued with 15-year sentences simply for treating injured protestors.

A further two doctors were given 10-year sentences, while seven other medics were given five-year jail terms.

The country’s Sunni-led government is clearly not going to relax its position on quashing the opposition from the majority Shi’ite population, whose members staged weeks of protests earlier this year, which spilled into ever-escalating violence when the government overreacted to control matters.

After the government imposed martial law, hundreds of protestors – who were lobbying for greater democratic rights – have been detained in prison since the riots in March, which resulted in the deaths of over 30 people, mostly opposition protestors.

The tribunal yesterday upheld the sentences issued to 21 activists who were issued with convictions for their roles in the protests. This included eight prominent opposition political figures, who were given life sentences after being convicted for charges of treason.

The current court system is attracting criticism from local and international human rights groups, while Formula 1 – which has committed to Bahrain returning to the F1 calendar next year – has yet to comment on the latest developments…

[Image via Pilotoons]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.