Formula One publishes human rights commitment

Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:25pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Formula One has published a statement committing the sport to respect for human rights as it prepares for one of the more controversial races on the calendar in Bahrain this weekend.

An uprising led by the strategic Gulf kingdom's Shi'ite Muslim majority to demand reforms in early 2011 led to a crackdown and forced the cancellation of that year's race.

There have been sporadic protests ever since and more were held on Friday as activists accused Bahrain's Sunni rulers of again staging the event to paper over abuses..

Media reports also drew attention, however, to a "Statement of Commitment to Respect for Human Rights" that was posted without fanfare in the legal notices section of the website.

"The Formula One Group is committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights in its operations globally," it declared.

"Whilst respecting human rights in all of our activities, we focus our efforts in relation to those areas which are within our own direct influence."

The statement said "proportionate steps" would be taken, including to "understand and monitor through our due diligence processes the potential human rights impacts of our activities".

The sport will also seek to "identify and assess... any actual or potential adverse human rights impacts with which we may be involved either through our own activities or as a result of our business relationships, including but not limited to our suppliers and promoters."   Continued...

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone (L) speaks with Cheif Executive Officer of the Bahrain International Circuit, Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, as he arrives ahead of Bahrain's F1 Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit south of Manama, April 16, 2015. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed