Bahrain F1 must go ahead say UK MPs
Manama, February 15, 2012
A group of British MPs have rejected calls for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled, saying that the event must be allowed to go ahead so the country can show the world it is serious about reforms.
The cross-party body was chaired by Conservative MP Conor Burns.
'Bahrain has been conveniently lumped together with other nations and labelled part of the Arab Spring,' said the UK-Bahrain All Party Parliamentary group in a letter published in The Times newspaper.
'Yet the response of the government of Bahrain has been notably different. Bahrain invited independent human rights lawyers, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, to investigate and has started to implement its recommendations.
'In addition to elections that have led to a four-fold increase in women elected to parliament, Bahrain has also asked John Timoney, the former New York police chief, and John Yates, the former assistant commissioner of Metropolitan Police, to overhaul policing, Sir Daniel Bethlehem, the Foreign Commonwealth Office former principal legal adviser, to review judicial processes and opened detention facilities for inspection by the Red Cross.'
The MPs said people who wanted Bahrain to continue on the path of genuine reform would do their cause no service by cancelling the F1 race, scheduled to take place on April 22.
'Indeed, surely the presence of thousands of Western visitors and journalists in the run-up to and during the event will act as an additional incentive to the authorities in Bahrain to show the international community its sincerity in the cause of reform and that their support for Bahrain is well placed,' said the letter.
Last year's race was first postponed and later cancelled as a result of the unrest. – TradeArabia News Service