Freedom Forward joined 15 other NGOs in expressing concern regarding Formula 1’s Grand Prix that took place in Saudi Arabia on December 5, 2021 and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on December 12, 2021.
Hosting these races in countries that do not respect human rights and instead stigmatize and persecute peaceful dissenting voices sends the wrong message to the international community. With this in mind, we urge F1 and chiefs of F1 teams to:
● Use the Grand Prix as a platform to highlight human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the cases of all human rights defenders who are languishing behind bars for their peaceful activism;
● Call on the Saudi and Emirati governments to immediately and unconditionally release all
political prisoners and human rights defenders imprisoned for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association;
● Call on the Saudi and Emirati governments to repeal and end all laws, policies and practices
which discriminate against women and implement obligations under the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;
● Call on the Saudi and Emirati governments to allow the operation of civil society organizations and end the criminalisation of political association and dissent; and
● Call on the Saudi and Emirati governments to abolish the death penalty for all childhood crimes and for all non-violent offences, with no exceptions.