Updated: December 15, 2020 8:07:53 AM
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been a champion on several social, political and humanitarian causes in recent times. Since securing his seventh title last month, making him the record holder with Michael Schumacher, the 35-year-old Briton has received letters from Bararain citizens seeking his help and influence.
However one separate letter – from 11-year-old Ahmed Ramadhan asking him to help save his father from a death sentence – Hamilton claimed, “really (hit) home.”
LETTER OF HOPE
Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (IBRD), a defense group in London, said the letter, accompanied by a drawn picture of Hamilton’s race car, said: “Lewis, please save my father. When I pulled the car, I felt hopeful. that it could save my father’s life. “
“I really hope Lewis Hamilton delivers my message so that my dad can return home,” Agence France-Presse reported.
Ramadhan Muhammad’s father, a security guard, was allegedly arrested in 2014 for the death of a police officer, and later sentenced to death. Human rights groups, however, claimed that confessions that led to the conviction were forced through torture.
LEGU | Why is Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton important?
Ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last week Hamilton addressed the letter in a press conference.
“I think the saddest thing for me was that there’s a young man on death row and it’s not clear … when his son writes me a letter, it really hits home. All lives matter. I think there is definitely work to be done in the background, “he said.” I will certainly not let it go unnoticed. When I get some time now, I will definitely try to talk to those (people) and see how I can positively impact that (racing) weekend (in the future). “
“A picture is worth 1000 words”
AP: Included with the letters a @LewisHamilton was a photo of 11-year-old Ahmed proudly resisting his drawing of Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 car.
– Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei (@SAlwadaei) December 13, 2020
The Bahrain Grand Prix has been a regular on the F1 circuit since the first race in 2004. It is also the country’s largest sporting event.
COVIDA INTERRUPTS MEETING
Hamilton claimed he hoped to meet with Bahrain’s heir and prime minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to address the issue of general social injustice in the kingdom. He hoped to attend the meeting during the southwestern country, which held a back-to-back Grand Prix on November 29 and December 6.
However, Hamilton tested positive for the coronavirus at the time, and was forced to miss the second race.
The Mercedes driver expressed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which gained steam in May after the death of African-American George Floyd by police. In fact, Hamilton has also criticized the apparent lack of responsiveness of the F1 when it comes to dealing with human rights, especially in countries where races take place.
“We realize that we must confront and not ignore human rights in the countries we are going to, not just 20 years, 30 years from now, but now,” he said after securing his seventh world title after winning the Turkish Grand Prix in November.
In Abu Dhabi, Hamilton added: “Naturally, the issue of human rights in so many places where we go is a constant and massive problem. We are probably one of the only ones who (go) to so many different countries and I think that as a sport we need to do more. “
FORMULA FIRST STANT
In a statement, F1 claimed it was vigilant about social injustice around the world.
“We have always been clear with all racial promoters and governments with whom we deal globally that we take violence, human rights abuses and repression very seriously.”
However, there were constant protests by activists ahead of the annual Bahrain Grand Prix, seeking the cancellation of the race in light of the government’s alleged human rights violations.
TAKING OF BAHRAIN GOVERNMENT
Ever since Bararain citizens – and current and former political prisoners – began calling on Hamilton to support his cause, the country’s government has claimed that it respects freedom of expression and the right to protest.
“No person shall be arrested or prosecuted for the peaceful expression of his opinion, and all arrested persons (regardless of the charge) shall enjoy full security proceedings, including the right to representation and the right to a fair trial before the independent judiciary of Bahrain.” , read a statement reported by The Guardian.
The statement also addressed the allegation of use of torture in the case of Ramadhan.
“Furthermore, the allegations of torture and / or revenge are categorically denied.”
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