Within a few hours of the announcement that the FIA has confirmed Formula 1′s return to Bahrain in April, the Bahrain Health Ministry issued a statement saying that a woman who was seriously hurt during recent anti-government protests has died of her injuries. The 27-year-old woman sustained head injuries last month in a Shiite village near the capital Manama. Local rights groups say that she was hit on the head by a metal rod during a protest and blame the security forces.
An independent commission, funded by the government, recently released a report confirming all the stories about what really happened during the uprisings in the spring, which were denied at the time by the administration. Confirming a race in 2012 is in effect a vote in favour of the government, despite the proven abuses and as yet no concrete signs of any actual reforms.
The FIA Statutes state that the federation “shall refrain from manifesting racial, political or religious discrimination in the course of its activities and from taking any action in this respect”. There is a fair argument that the decision by the World Council to confirm Bahrain’s date on the F1 calendar, and various other events, is in breach of these regulations.