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F1 accused of ‘turning blind eye’ over activist’s jailing in Bahrain

• F1 says imprisonment ‘had nothing to do with peaceful protest’
• Najah Yusuf jailed after criticising Bahrain GP in 2017

Formula One has been accused of “looking the other way” by human rights groups in the case of an activist who was beaten, sexually abused and jailed for protesting against the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Najah Yusuf, who was imprisoned after a series of Facebook posts in April 2017 that were critical of the race and the regime, has not been allowed to see her family for six months. Initially, as the Guardian revealed in November, Formula One admitted to having “concerns” about Yusuf’s case. However, in a letter to Human Rights Watch and the Bahraini Institute of Rights and Democracy (Bird) on Monday, it said it had been assured Ms Yusuf’s conviction “had nothing to do with peaceful protest around the Bahrain grand prix”.

Related: F1 finally admits concern over woman jailed for Bahrain Grand Prix protests

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Hakeem al-Araibi: thank you Australia for bringing me home – but my fight is not over

Bahrain will do anything to hunt down dissident athletes and their families. International sporting bodies must step up to protect the helpless

I can never truly express my gratitude to you all, the Australian people, for bringing me home. There were countless dark moments over the 76 days of my detention, when my future looked nothing but bleak. The prospect of never seeing my wife, family or friends again became too close to reality.

The moment I was reunited with my loved ones, hundreds of supporters made it to the airport to give me a warm welcome that went far beyond my imagination. It is something I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Related: ‘Big surprise’: Hakeem al-Araibi feels the love as he returns to football club

Related: Privileged sport officials willing to sacrifice Hakeem al-Araibi's life should be expunged | Craig Foster

Related: Hakeem al-Araibi case: Bahrain is emboldened to take human rights abuse beyond its borders | Aya Majzoub

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