Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
British F1 star Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was moved by a letter from an 11-year-old Bahraini boy claiming his pro-democracy father was wrongfully placed on death row after being tortured.
The seven-time F1 champion made the comments at a press conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday 12th December.
Hamilton, 35, spoke about a letter he received from an 11-year-old boy from Bahrain named Ahmed Ramadhan which also included a picture of him holding a drawing of his Mercedes F1 car.
Hamilton received the note while visiting the boy’s country for the Bahrain Grand Prix which he won on 29th November.
In the letter, Ahmed asked for legal help for his father Mohammed Ramadhan. The boy claims his father was detained by the authorities for backing a pro-democracy movement and was later tortured into confessing a crime he did not commit in 2014.
However, the Bahrain government has claimed that Ramadhan was fairly tried, according to local media.
Hamilton said he thought the “saddest thing” was to see someone on death row in a case that is “not clear” and having his son send him a note “really hits home” the situation, according to Middle East Eye. (https://bit.ly/2IPoSeo)
The defending F1 champion also revealed he had wanted to sit down with the crown prince of Bahrain during his stay there but was unable to after testing positive for COVID-19.
He added he hopes to raise awareness of human rights issues and speak with torture victims, saying we must all work together “to push for change”.
Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth issued a statement citing an article by the Guardian on 26th November (https://bit.ly/3mbDtOQ).
He said: “Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton says F1 has a “consistent and massive” problem for letting governments like Bahrain “sportswash” their torture and detention by hosting high-profile F1 races.”
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