Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, gave an interview to Russia Today about Bahrain in which he spoke about the Formula One:
RT: You mentioned that it was almost a cartoonish imprisonment, which happened to Nabeel Rajab. Can you give an assessment of the regime in Bahrain altogether?
JA: I was born in 1971. The prime minister of Bahrain [Khalifah ibn Sulman al-Khalifah] was put in power in 1971.
RT: So, is there absolutely no democracy in Bahrain?
JA: That’s the answer to your question. There’s 42 years this man has been in power in Bahrain. There’s no significant democracy. The Shia group is very significant, people argue – slight minority or a slight majority of the population, kept out of political life. The relationship between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – the two countries face each other and they share a border with each other. And the Saudis are economically dominant to Bahrain, and are worried about any sort of resistance gaining power in Bahrain because the political movements in Bahrain have a habit of seeping over into the Saudi Arabia and into the Shia populations in Saudi Arabia. That’s why you saw during the uprising a desperate measure by the Bahraini regime of pulling in Saudi troops, to crack down on their own population. The Bahraini regime sold its sovereignty in order to crack down on its own domestic population.
RT: You mentioned: “provided if the international pressure keeps up” in relation to Rajab. Do you think there’s been enough international pressure on the Bahraini regime?
JA: There’s obviously hasn’t been enough in the West. I mean look at the example of the US and the UK. There has been some, and it’s interesting to look at what Bahrain has done in response. Well, it’s flown in Kim Kardashian and these other people, who will sell their soul to promote the Bahraini regime. You see Kim Kardashian putting tweet after tweet about how wonderful it is thanks to the sheik and so on. It’s disgusting. These people are disgusting. Everyone should know that their loyalties are for sale, similarly, with the Formula 1, exactly, the same thing.
Bahrain has just bought that in order to cover up its human rights abuses and its bad reputation. There’s another way of dealing with things, which is – you can improve your reputation by actually stopping what you’re doing. Instead, Bahrain if it really wanted to improve its reputation it could release Nabeel Rajab. Until it releases Nabeel Rajab, no serious organization should have any involvement with the Bahraini regime. No organization who’s involved with Bahrain can be seen to be credible when Nabeel Rajab is in prison.