The circus comes to town

For those amongst you who are not motor sport fans, you may be unaware that the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix is on this weekend. Why is this an issue? Because Bahrain has been a hotbed of repression ever since the Arab Spring began over two years ago. Numerous human rights abuses, including extra judicial killings have been perpretrated against those opposed to the Sunni minority government. Because of the strategic importance of Bahrain (it is home to the US Fifth Fleet), the US has largely remained mum, fearing the nation might fall under the Iranian sphere of influence. And now, the Formula One circus roles into town, merely by its presence lending to credence to the regime. The money hungry individuals such as Bernie Ecclestone who run Formula One care little for human rights, clearly, since they do business with Bahrain. But the question must be asked; do we want sport being used to legitimise regimes which have surrendered the right to legitimacy by brutalising their own citizens?

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