Sunday, Feb 05

Activists Applaud Race Car Driver Lewis Hamilton for Calling for Human Rights Scrutiny of Saudi Arabia

Friday, Nov 26 1165
Activists Applaud Race Car Driver Lewis Hamilton for Calling for Human Rights Scrutiny of Saudi Arabia LARS BARON/Getty Images South America

One year after the women-led organization CODEPINK began their appeal to the Formula One race car driver, Lewis Hamilton spoke out ahead of the calling for Saudi Arabia and Qatar to be scrutinized for human rights records.

"As sports go to these places, they are duty-bound to raise awareness for these issues," said Hamilton. "These places need scrutiny. Equal rights is a serious issue." Hamilton is scheduled to compete in the F1 race in Saudi Arabia on December 5, 2021.

CODEPINK circulated a petition that gathered almost 6,000 signatures asking Hamilton to either boycott the December 5 F1 race in Saudi Arabia or to use his time there to speak out for human rights in the country and an end to the war in Yemen. A coalition letter of 45 human rights, faith-based, and foreign policy organizations organized by CODEPINK made the same request.

"Clearly, Hamilton has a deep concern for human suffering and is willing to take action," said CODEPINK Yemen campaigner Danaka Katovich. "Saudi Arabia is waging a brutal war on Yemen that is starving almost twenty million people in the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. Hamilton is in a position to help end the war in Yemen and the human rights abuses Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is committing against Saudi women, dissidents, and others by calling attention to the issue. I am glad Hamilton has begun taking action, and I hope he continues as he travels to race in the country."

CODEPINK and allies such as the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, Freedom Forward, Democracy for the Middle East Now (DAWN), Just Foreign Policy, and Avaaz will continue to reach out to Hamilton, asking him to raise the following issues while he is in Saudi Arabia: women's rights; labor rights; prisoners of conscience, the war in Yemen; and democracy. 

CODEPINK is now appealing to pop star Justin Bieber to cancel his performance at the race. 

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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