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Lewis Hamilton calls for exposing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia by wearing Khashoggi’s t-shirt during the country’s first Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was urged to shine human rights violations in Saudi Arabia by wearing a t-shirt throughout the course of the country First Grand Prix this weekend.

Relatives of imprisoned Saudi Arabian dissidents wrote a letter, which was shared exclusively with The Independent. ratify”.

Lina al-Hathloul, sister of a famous Saudi women’s rights The activist, previously jailed, was among those who signed a demand that Hamilton wear a T-shirt while driving on the F1 track in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

Human rights organizations say Loujain was forced to endure abuse including electric shock, beatings and sexual harassment while in prison. Loujain, who has successfully campaigned for the right to drive for Saudi women, was arrested along with 10 other women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia in May 2018 – weeks before The country lifted the driving ban.

Saudi officials have denied torture charges against Loujain, who was released in February after 1,001 days in custody.

Grant Liberty, a human rights charity that led the letter, is asking Hamilton to wear a t-shirt printed with 2.10.18 – the date on which Washington Post Categories Jamal Khashoggi was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate.

The body of the 59-year-old journalist, who infuriated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with his criticism of the country, has never been recovered and Western intelligence agencies consider it dismembered.

Saudi Arabia has denied claiming the prince was involved in the incident, but the country’s investigation acknowledged that two of the prince’s top aides organized the activity.

Grant Liberty on behalf of close family members of Saudi citizens, Loujain, Salman al-Odah, Abdul Rahman al-Sadhan, Aida al-Ghamdi, sent a letter to Hamilton – with the organization claiming Father was once arrested on “unclear charges” and then tortured while in prison in Saudi Arabia.

“We ask that you use your visit to Saudi Arabia’s first F1 event to urge the country’s rulers to uphold human rights – just as you did in Bahrain earlier this year,” the people said. the person who signed the letter said.

“As you line up on the grid, please remember that prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia are being tortured, sexually assaulted, and continue to be jailed for years without charge, often segregated. incarceration, separation from family, and denial of legal and medical advice. care.

“They include women’s rights campaigners, reform clerics, Shia activists, democracy campaigners, journalists, philanthropic and human rights workers – really anyone who dares to question it. regime”.

The letter noted Hamilton was committed to both “human rights and equality” and “fighting against discrimination and prejudice” – adding that the driver used his “conscience” to draw attention to “the inequality in a premier sport”.

Hamilton has publicly supported Breyonne Taylor, George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, as well as Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and her Malala Foundation, the signatories added.

“The Saudi regime is using you and the F1 teams to wash their reputation,” the letter read.

“They want your athletic presence to wash away their image – they want you to try to make the world turn a blind eye to their oppression, or worse, to accept brutality and murder. their people like the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a legitimate way to govern.

“We write to you today and beg you to seize this opportunity to send once again a powerful message – one that says human rights matter.”

Meanwhile, Lucy Rae, a spokeswoman for Grant Liberty, said the race was part of a series of “Machiavellian sports washing” cases that included “buying top football clubs and hosting tournaments.” golf game”.

She added: “We know dedicated sports stars like Lewis Hamilton are not easily fooled. Instead of being taken advantage of, he had a chance to tell Saudi Arabia if it wanted to show the world it had changed, it had to start real reform and stop its abuse of peace activists. “.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/lewis-hamilton-saudi-arabia-grand-prix-human-rights-abuses-b1968503.html Lewis Hamilton calls for exposing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia by wearing Khashoggi’s t-shirt during the country’s first Grand Prix

JACLYN DIAZ

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