“Save my father please” : a Bahraini child wrote to Lewis Hamilton, recent winner of the Bahrain GP, in the hope that the F1 champion can intervene to save his father, sentenced to death in his country and subjected to torture according to NGOs.
Ahmed Ramadan, 11, recently designed the car of the world champion to accompany his letter, with this call for help with the situation of his father, sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer in an attack bombing in this small Gulf country in 2014.
Saturday evening, December 12, in a statement, the NGO Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) published the young boy’s comments about this initiative. # BlackLivesMatter: how the pilot Lewis Hamilton wants to win against racism
“I will certainly not let go without reacting”
“When I designed the car I had hopes it might save my dad’s life and I really hope Lewis Hamilton gets my message across so my dad can come home”, says the child, according to the words reported by this London-based NGO.
“A picture is worth a 1000 words” AP: Included with the letters to @LewisHamilton was a photo of 11-year-old Ahmed… https://t.co/VgoDnDLxgY
Shortly before, questioned at a press conference after qualifying for the Abu Dhabi GP, Hamilton had confirmed having read several letters including this one.
“The saddest thing for me is that there is a young man on death row and that is not clear (…). So when his son writes to me, it clearly does something “, estimated the British champion.
“There is certainly work to be done in the background and I will certainly not let go without reacting”, he added.
Bahrain, a kingdom ruled by a Sunni dynasty, has experienced intermittent unrest since the repression of protests in February 2011, in the midst of the Arab Spring, which mobilized many Shiite citizens demanding reforms, including a constitutional monarchy.
Since that date, the authorities have led a merciless repression against opponents, from the deprivation of nationality to the use of the death penalty. Many human rights defenders have also been prosecuted.
Last July, the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentences of two Bahrainis of Shiite faith, Mohammed Ramadan, the father of the child, and Hussein Moussa, on charges of torture during interrogation by NGOs.
In this context, the director of the NGO BIRD, Sayed Alwadaei, welcomed in the press release published on Saturday evening the speech of the British pilot.
Seven-time world champion
“When world champions like Lewis Hamilton choose to speak out, it can change people’s lives forever”, he stressed. “F1 should support Lewis instead of washing away the image of violent and autocratic regimes with sporting events. “
Bahrain has hosted F1 GPs since 2004.
Hamilton, 35, won another victory there on November 29, before being tested positive for Covid-19 in the wake.
After missing the penultimate round of the season last weekend, the seven-time world champion contested the final round of the season this Sunday in the United Arab Emirates, finishing in third place.
At the start of the season, he took a public stand against racism, in the midst of global controversy after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in the United States.