NGOs plea to the Bahrain13 Endurance athletes

The Bahrain Endurance Team (Bahrain13) was created by Bahraini prince Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa in the beginning of 2015 and officially presented in May. The team consists of thirteen triathlon athletes including Olympic medallist and world champions. According to their official webpage, the Bahrain Endurance Team ‘will race for key long-distance triathlon titles and promote a culture of health and wellness and endurance sporting excellence across the Gulf region and beyond’.

It is interesting to note that Bahrain already has its ‘Bahrain13’ team. However, the original Bahrain 13 ‘team’ is composed of human rights activists, bloggers and opposition leaders arrested in 2011 as a consequence for their participation in peaceful protests. All of them are currently serving jail sentences and many were subject to severe torture and ill-treatment. They have become a symbol for democracy and hope in the country. It is a tasteless mockery, and no coincidence, that Prince Nasser choose a very similar name for his elite team of athletes.

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT) have written an open letter to the members of the Bahrain 13 Endurance Team, imploring them to revaluate their membership on the team and to stand up for human rights and against the abuses committed by Shaikh Nasser and the Government of Bahrain.

Please see for full text of the letter here.

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