Human rights organisations push Lewis Hamilton to boycott the Saudi Arabian GP
45 organizations signed a letter to call on Hamilton to boycott the GP
Human rights organizations across the globe are calling on F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton to boycott the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, set to be held in Jeddah, the capital city, on December 3-5, 2021.
Hamilton has been very vocal about social inequities in recent times, especially in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis in May 2020. He has advocated for Black Lives Matter, wearing BLM t-shirts in the paddock and encouraging his fellow drivers to take the knee before GPs starting with the Austrian Grand Prix in June and that's why these organizations are now pushing him to speak out against human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.
Over 40 organizations including Codepink, Alliance for Global Justice, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, and International Service for Human Rights, have sent a letter to Hamilton expressing their concerns about the situation in the country.
“As organizations concerned deeply with the human rights abuses carried out by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we ask that you reconsider your participation in the upcoming race being hosted in Saudi Arabia in 2021,” the letter reads. “If this is not possible due to prior commitments, we ask that you make a statement at this race.”
Codepink Campaign Coordinator Danaka Katovich also released a statement on the matter. “Hamilton has shown time and time again that he cares deeply for people around the world,” the statement reads. “I hope he is compelled to stand with Saudi human rights defenders like Loujain AlHathloul. The most decorated Formula 1 driver in the history of the sport demanding freedom for activists and justice for Yemen would certainly speak volumes to the world."
In November 2020, Hamilton was asked to comment on the race when Formula 1 officially announced they would include the Saudi Arabian GP in the 2021 calendar, and he admitted that he needed to know more about Saudi Arabia’s alleged human rights violations before speaking about them.
You can read the full letter here.