After taking a hit from Max Mosley earlier today the FIA’s Carlos Gracia has been further criticised in the light of his inspection of Bahrain on behalf of Jean Todt.
Mosley had said Gracia doesn’t speak English and was not qualified to explore the human rights question.
Now the campaigning organisation Avaaz – which has organised on online petition to stop the race being re-instated – has mocked Gracia’s report with the following release, reproduced here in full:
‘Today, the global campaigning organization Avaaz released a leaked copy of the FIA Bahrain report which informed Formula One’s decision Friday to go ahead with the race despite human rights concerns.
‘Following a government-sponsored PR tour through Bahrain, FIA Commissioner Carlos Gracia concluded in his report that there is an “atmosphere of total calm and stability,” that “life in Bahrain is completely normal again,” and that “no human rights were violated,” contradicting numerous accounts of brutal repression and violence against doctors, nurses, and citizens.
‘Ricken Patel, Executive Director at Avaaz said: “Reading the FIA’s Bahrain report is like stepping into the Twilight Zone. While FIA’s sham report says that no human rights have been violated, at least 31 Bahrain citizens have been killed and hundreds more tortured and imprisoned. Formula One based their decision to race in Bahrain on this dangerously irresponsible report, a decision now universally opposed by the F1 teams. Formula One must pull out of Bahrain immediately or have their reputation forever tarnished.”
‘The report details Gracia’s visit to Bahrain in late May during which he visited only with government bodies, did not confer with credible human rights groups, and did not talk with injured people, torture victims, or families of the people who have died.
‘Maryam Al-Khawaja, from the independent Bahrain Center for Human Rights, on seeing the report today, said: “The report is disastrously unbalanced. The FIA has chosen to turn a blind eye to the ongoing violations in Bahrain. The government should allow independent human rights groups to do their work in Bahrain.”
‘Independent journalists and human rights organizations confirm that at least 31 people have been killed since the protests began on 14th February 2011, and more than 800 arrests have been made, including 108 members of the Grand Prix Circuit’s permanent staff. At a trial yesterday of 47 Bahraini medical staff who were arrested for treating injured people at protests, it was revealed that detainees are being tortured.’
FOTA has written to the FIA to confirm that the teams want to race in India rather than Bahrain on October 30.