Dhe Bahrain Institute for Law and Democracy (BIRD) has lodged a complaint against Formula 1 with the UK’s national contact point for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Europe (OECD) Principles. In the lawsuit, an excerpt is available to the FAZ, the Formula 1 management is accused, among other things, of violating its own guidelines by extending the contract to host Grands Prix until the end of 2036.
The National Contact Point for the OECD is designed to promote the effective implementation of guiding principles, some of which Formula 1 has adopted following a previous complaint. According to BIRD, following the bloody crackdown on demonstrations by those in power in spring 2011, the management of the premier class failed to support victims of abuse (in Bahrain) directly linked to “your races. (. . .) Ignoring such interest groups violates Formula 1’s human rights policy and risks complicity in your partners’ abuses,” the lawsuit reads.
According to BIRD, there has been an increase in arrests around the race since 2012. In addition, Formula 1 failed to work with human rights organizations and with those who faced reprisals for their human rights work in connection with the event. “Repeated attempts to talk to Formula 1 about this have fallen on deaf ears, especially in 2021,” writes BIRD. It is therefore felt compelled to bring the matter up with the OECD.
Lawyer Daniel Carey, who filed the complaint, referred to Formula 1’s self-image: “It created a human rights policy as a result of an earlier OECD complaint. I hope that with this complaint, effective implementation can now be ensured and the risks associated with ‘sports underwear’ can be properly identified.” Formula 1 management did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.