May 17, 2022

Dubai Week

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Will Saudi Arabia be stoned again?  Ministry of Health spokesman responds

Will Saudi Arabia be stoned again? Ministry of Health spokesman responds

As Saudi Arabia prepares to host a race for the first time this weekend, human rights groups have called on Formula 1 racing management to put an end to human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.

The administration has been accused of being “complicit” and trying to “polish the (Saudi) regime” in a country that has been widely criticized for its achievements in human rights and diversity, the newspaper said. Defender British.

Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to Formula 1 to clarify its concerns, and Amnesty International sent a letter to world champion Louis Hamilton, signed by 41 organizations, asking him to speak to Saudi leaders to highlight human rights issues.

Human Rights Watch has called on Formula One to “intervene on behalf of the women who helped bring about change”, which recently pushed Saudi Arabia’s leadership to allow women to drive.

Prominent activists were released last year after nearly three years in prison for peacefully fighting for the right to drive, while others, such as activist Lujain al-Hadlul, have been banned from speaking publicly about their detention or travel, and some are still serving suspended sentences.

Since the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince, Human Rights Watch has said that “it refers to the brutal repression of peaceful protesters in Saudi Arabia” and that “despite social reforms, prison officials continue to torture prisoners.”

Its letter added that “Formula 1 could enable the Saudi government to register its human rights record or improve its image of human rights in the Kingdom.”

The organization wrote to Hamilton, known for campaigning for diversity and equality in Formula 1, that “sports have a duty to make a difference in human rights issues in the countries in which they go.”

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On Wednesday evening, Hamilton tweeted, “Equality for all.”

The organizations noted that Saudi Arabia “continues to use the death penalty against children, non-violent offenders and those who exercise their right to freedom of expression” and “implicitly accepts this by conducting Formula 1 racing”.

The organization cited the case of Hassan al-Maliki, a researcher facing the death penalty, for peacefully expressing his views on Islamic history.

The charges against him include “possession of books” “not authorized by a competent authority”, as well as “publishing” and “tweeting”.

“The authorities are trying to impose the death penalty for intellectual crimes and threaten to kill him because of the contents of his library,” the letter to Formula 1 said.

Many drivers, including Hamilton and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, have voiced their support for the rights of homosexuals, lesbians and other LGBT people.

In Qatar, Hamilton wore rainbow colors on his helmet and a Vettel T-shirt in support of gay rights at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Both are supporters of the much-publicized ‘We are a race’ initiative in Formula 1, one of which is the stated goals of diversity and content.

Amnesty International has made it clear that homosexual relationships are illegal in Saudi Arabia and that lashes or imprisonment are possible.

Formula 1 entered into a long-term business sponsorship agreement with Aramco, a Saudi state-owned oil company, in 2020.

An F1 spokesman responded to the criticism with a statement: “For decades, Formula 1 has worked hard to be a positive force everywhere, including delivering economic, social and cultural benefits everywhere.”

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“We take our ownership responsibilities very seriously, take with us the high ethical standards of our colleagues and those who work in our supply chains, and we pay close attention to their compliance,” he added.

Racing organizers in Saudi Arabia responded with a statement, “We fully recognize the right of all individuals to express their views, but once people go to Jeddah we hope they will see for themselves what a vibrant, open and welcoming culture is. Here it is.”