Azerbaijan: Human rights record should be taken into account in making Grand Prix decision

Responding to media reports that Azerbaijan is set to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix, Amnesty International UK’s director Kate Allen said:
"Azerbaijan has an appalling human rights record and Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone should consider this before allowing the country to host the Grand Prix.
“The image-obsessed government will want to use the Grand Prix to show itself to the world as a modern, progressive country. But the reality is very different.
“Azerbaijan is a country where journalists and peaceful protestors are in prison simply because they disagree with the government, which is currently employing a particularly aggressive crack down on freedom of expression.
“Mr Ecclestone should have learned from the example of Bahrain, where protests linked to the Grand Prix in 2012 and 2013 were violently repressed by the authorities and where repression around the event was stepped up to avoid damage to the country's public image.”

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