Human rights campaigners have urged Formula One management to cancel next week's Bahrain Grand Prix, accusing the country's rulers of using the race to "whitewash" abuses and improve their image abroad.
Bahrain's biggest sporting event is watched by a worldwide audience of millions and has been held since 2004, with the exception of 2011 when violent civil unrest forced its cancellation.
"Concerted and visible action is now required from Formula One, consistent with its commitment to human rights," the groups said in a letter to Formula One chairman Chase Carey and the two managing directors Sean Bratches and Ross Brawn.
"We call on you to suspend this year's race in view of the alarming situation in the country."
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