Bar Alleged Abuser Prince Nasser from Presenting Bahrain Grand Prix Trophies

At a press event today in London hosted by Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Senior Advisor Brian Dooley reiterated Human Rights First’s call for U.S. visa sanctions on Bahrain’s Prince Nasser and for Formula One to bar him from presenting awards at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“F1 should avoid the international embarrassment it will bring on itself and on winners of the Bahrain Grand Prix if Prince Nasser presents the awards,” said Brian Dooley. “Year after year, the F1 organization is caught in human rights controversies when they hold their races in Bahrain. It could easily avoid this one by announcing that Prince Nasser will not be handing out its prizes while the U.S. government is considering whether to impose sanctions on him.”

On February 13, 2024, Human Rights First sent a letter to Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and CEO Natalie Robyn urging them not to choose Prince Nasser, who has been the subject of long-standing torture allegations, to award the winners of the event or otherwise participate in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

In the letter, Human Rights First urged FIA to abide by its Statement of Commitment to Respect for Human Rights and reaffirm its commitment to respecting internationally recognized human rights by not including Nasser on the podium at the Grand Prix.

In 2011, during the Bahrain government’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests, Nasser publicly called for “accountability” for anyone who opposed the regime and took the lead in identifying athletes who participated in demonstrations. He is alleged to have personally subjected political prisoners to severe beatings. In public statements and testimony during judicial proceedings, multiple survivors have offered evidence of Nasser’s direct acts of torture.

The U.S. State Department is currently considering Human Rights First’s recommendation for visa sanctions against Nasser for his alleged involvement in gross violations of human rights.

Also scheduled to speak at Monday’s event moderated by BIRD’s Insiya Raja were Lord Scriven, Member of the British House of Lords; Lottie Casey of BIRD; and Zaki Sarraf, MENA Caseworker at Reprieve.


Published on February 26, 2024


Related Posts

Seeking asylum?

If you do not already have legal representation, cannot afford an attorney, and need help with a claim for asylum or other protection-based form of immigration status, we can help.