By Ray Fleming

I wonder whether Bernie Ecclestone, who holds the commercial rights of Formula One racing and says he intends to go ahead with this year's Bahrain Grand Prix, ever listens to BBC World Service radio? Probably not, but if he had been doing so recently he would have heard striking interviews with victims of last year's oppression by Bahrain security forces against “Arab Spring” demonstrators that led up to the cancellation of the Grand Prix.

These doctors, nurses and teachers were beaten-up, imprisoned and tortured for holding rallies calling for democratic reform in Bahrain.
They expressed outrage that the Grand Prix is likely to take place this April 22 regardless of the fact that many of those arrested a year ago are still imprisoned.

Mr Ecclestone says he was told this week's anniversary of Bahrain's so-called “Day of Rage” was the boiling point and as it passed off relatively quietly he sees no reason to cancel the Grand Prix for a second time.

He seems quite oblivious to the world-wide feeling that the government of Bahrain should not be able to pretend that everything is quite normal in its tiny country.

It is not -- it is a country run by an oppressive regime.
The Formula One Grand Prix is Bahrain's biggest international showpiece and it should be denied the prestige that comes from hosting it.