Date: 10th February 2012 at 11:28am
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Huge question marks have remained over whether Formula One should return to Bahrain in 2012.

The 2011 Formula One World Championship was set to hold its curtain raiser in Bahrain, but after political unrest in the country and surrounding regions, the event was initially postponed before being dropped.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is thought to be keen to return to Bahrain for the upcoming season and the race is currently scheduled for April 22nd.

But Formula One and the FIA are beginning to come under pressure from human rights campaigners and now politicians in the United Kingdom.

Seven members of the House of Lords and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas have decided to write an open letter to The Times newspaper, in order to express their views on the matter.

We note with concern the decision by Formula 1 to go ahead with the race in Bahrain scheduled for April,’ the letter signed by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, Lord Alton, Lord Avebury, Baroness Falkner of Margravine, Lord Hylton, Caroline Lucas and Lord Boswell states.

‘The continued political crisis in Bahrain is a troubling source of instability in the Gulf region, and the lack of any move towards political reconciliation concerns those who wish to see Bahrain move in the direction of greater democratic accountability.’

The letter goes on to state clearly that: ‘Given the current dire situation, with daily street protests and the deaths of more civilians, we do not believe that the time is right for Formula 1 to return to Bahrain.’

‘Bahrain is a major trading hub and financial centre in the Middle East but this brings greater responsibility. Human rights and economic stability go hand in hand and the government of Bahrain must do more to persuade international events and corporations that Bahrain is a stable place to do business.

‘Until it takes concerted measures to reform the electoral, penal and judicial processes, international observers as well as ordinary Bahrainis can have little confidence that Bahrain is on the path to reform and political stability. We urge the FIA to reconsider its decision to continue with the race.’