Date :Monday, August 12th, 2019 | Time : 17:26 |ID: 107000 | Print

Bahraini activist critical of Formula 1 race released after 3 years in jail

SHAFAQNAThe Al Khalifa regime released a female activist who was thrown behind bars around three years ago for posting a critical note against Bahrain Grand Prix on social media websites.

Najah Yusuf was among the 105 detained pardoned on occasion of the Muslim Eid al-Adha. Her release came following an international campaign by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and on the eve of the opening of Formula One race in the Persian Gulf Arab state.

Najah, the mother of four children, is the first political prisoner freed since the detention of many activists and anti-government protesters in 2011. In April 2017, she was arrested after posting a note on Facebook where she wrote “no to F1 race on occupied Bahraini land … the race is nothing more than a way for the Al Khalifa ruling family to whitewash their criminal record of human rights abuses”. Najah already accused Bahraini security officers of beating, torture and sexual assault against her, adding, “every moment I spend in prison stains the reputation of Formula One”.

Najah Yusuf has called for the release of political prisoners who are still in jail for protesting against the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix that was cancelled following demonstrations and harsh crackdown.

The Al Khalifa regime releases Najah Yusuf amid news that F1 is considering hosting a race in Saudi Arabia from 2021 and accusations of sportswashing. The F1 organizers have admitted that they had concerns about Najah Yusuf’s case but at the same time announced that her detention had nothing to do with peaceful protests against the Grand Prix.

According to reports, six female political prisoners are currently held in Bahrain’s Isa Town Prison. Among them is Hajer Mansoor Hassan. The United Nations has declared her detention unlawful and arbitrary.

Sources: Guardian, GPfans

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