In March 2022, the House of Lords wrote a letter to the FIA, specifically to its president, Mohammed Ben Sulaym. In this announcement, the House of Lords of the British Parliament expressed its concern about the expansion of F1 in the Middle East. Sportwashing from Gulf countries.
F1 has already been targeted several times by organizations such as Amnesty International. Excited by F1 visit to Qatar. The British Parliament was today irritated by the lack of response from the FIA or Mohammed Ben Sulayam.
“Nearly a year has passed since you received this letter, and we have not yet had the honor of receiving your reply.” Lord Scriven wrote. “Your failure to address our serious concerns is deeply unethical and unprofessional.”
“Why do you think you can ignore Members of Parliament? Do you think concerns raised about human rights and FIA policies should be beyond scrutiny? We have written to you to raise public interest concerns.”
“We expect the FIA to be open and transparent. For clarity, I still expect to receive a response to our letter dated March 16, 2022, and am keeping this letter open in the interest of transparency and public interest.”
Fears for free speech in F1
This new public letter from Lords highlights the erosion of freedom of speech for drivers, along with a new article in the International Sporting Code, which states that any political speech will be prohibited in the context of races governed by the FIA.
“I learned with great concern of the FIA’s decision to ban the F1 drivers from speaking out what you consider to be political statements. Lord Scriven continues.
“His comments about countries with poor rights records, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, will not be welcomed by these corrupt and abusive regimes.”
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