On February 14th, the youth of Bahrain started a peaceful movement demanding constitutional reform & more participation in the running of the country’s affairs under the umbrella of a constitutional monarchy.

However, over the span of one month, this movement was faced with a brutal crackdown by the Bahrain regime, culminating into a full-blown attack by the Bahrain police, army and national guard aided by the GCC joint forces led by Saudi Arabia, on the very basic human rights of the people of Bahrain. This led to over two dozen deaths, hundreds injured, over six hundred detainees, over one thousand job dismissals, the demolishing of places of worship and the prevention of religious practices; in what is a clear “sectarian cleansing” process against a majority sect in the country. All this has been in an effort to silence any further dissent.

During this movement, and as an integral part of the society, the athletes in the country also organized a rally in support of these demands for reform. The Bahrain regime replied to this rally by indefinitely suspending and banning around 200 athletes from any local, regional or international play on charges of “supporting the popular revolution in the country”, according to a government official. The regime went further to arrest about 10 athletes incommunicado, along with several staff members of the Bahrain International Circuit from their workplace.

It is important to note that these athletes include regionally and internationally renowned ones, including but not limited to:

• A’ala Hubail (arrested footballer); the 2004 Asian Cup Golden Boot winner, helping Bahrain in the process to reach its first semi-final round at the regional stage. He is also a trained paramedic and EMT who was also acting as a volunteer nurse treating the injured during the brutal crackdown of protesters. His brother, Mohammed (another National team player), has also been arrested.

• Jafar Abdulqader (arrested handball player); also a national handball team player, helping Bahrain reach its first ever Handball World Cup participation in 2011. Other players from that national team have been arrested and suspended.

• Tariq Al Farsani (arrested bodybuilder); an Asian Bodybuilding Champion.

The list extends to many other sports, and the Bahrain Football, Handball, Volleyball and Basketball Federations, along with the Bahrain Olympic Committee, have all backed this decision.

Mr. Jacques Rogge - President, International Olympic Committee
Sh. Ahmed Al Sabah - President, Asian Olympic Committee & AHF
Mr. Sepp Blatter - President, FIFA
Mr. Mohammed Bin Hammam - President, AFC
Mr. Yvan Mainini - President, FIBA
Sh. Saud Al-Thani - President, FIBA Asia
Mr. Jizhong Wei - President, FIVB
Dr. Saleh Bin Nasser - President, AVC
Dr. Hassan Moustafa - President, IHF
Mr. Jean Todt - President, FIA
Mr. Bernie Ecclestone - President & CEO, FOM, FOA & FOCA

We, the undersigned,

Ask all the sport federations, and international & regional sport committees to suspend all Bahrain sport federations from international & regional participation. This is until they restore the rights of the Bahrain athletes in representing their country without being punished for their personal political views, and ensure that the Bahrain national sport teams are representative of all Bahrainis without discrimination of any sort or form.

The aforementioned events clearly show the discrimination towards athletes based on their own personal political stance and/or sect, and their suspension from practicing their sports is not based on any sporting misconduct. We are appalled by the decisions taken by the sport federations in Bahrain, and refuse their participation of any sort in sport events on this basis.

We ask for an immediate suspension of all sport federations in Bahrain on all regional & international levels.

Yours truly,

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The SUPPORT Bahrain's Athletes petition to IOC, FIFA, AFC, FIBA, FIBA ASIA, FIVB, AVC, IHF, AHF, FIA was written by Bahraini and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.