Saudi Arabia has executed 97 people in the past two weeks and Lewis Hamilton has spoken out on human rights in the country after receiving a letter from a teenager on death row
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Lewis Hamilton has called some of the stories he heard ahead of the controversial Saudi Arabian Grand Prix “staggering” and said he received a letter from a young teenager on death row.
Ahead of the Jeddah race, Hamilton was asked if he had concerns about attending an event in a country where 97 people have been executed in the past two weeks, according to a human rights organization. And the British driver said: “It’s overwhelming to hear the stories. I heard that a 14 year old on death row sent me a letter.
“When you’re 14 you still don’t know what the hell you’re doing in life.” And Hamilton, 37, has vowed to keep trying to change society wherever he goes to race. He continued: “We don’t decide where we go, but I think we have a duty to try and do what we can while we’re here.
“It’s not necessarily our responsibility, but we’re trying and doing what we can. It’s important that we try to educate ourselves and make sure we do something with the little difference we can make.
“Ultimately it is the responsibility of those in power to make the changes and we are not really seeing enough. So we need to see more. I’m always up for a discussion and finding out why what should be happening isn’t happening. Look, it’s 2022 and it’s easy to make changes.”
On Friday, human rights group Reprieve said another 16 people have been killed since the mass execution of 81 men on March 12. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights claimed more than half of the 81 were killed over the kidnapping taking part in pro-democracy protests.
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“My position is still the same as last year,” said Hamilton, 37. “It’s obviously overwhelming to hear the stories. “I heard that a 14-year-old boy who is on death row here sent me a letter. At 14 you don’t know what the hell you’re doing in life.
“We don’t decide where we race in Formula 1, but while it’s not necessarily our responsibility, we have a duty to try and do what we can. “It’s important that we try to educate ourselves and with a little difference we can try to make sure we’re doing something.
“But ultimately it’s the responsibility of those in power to really make the changes and we’re not really seeing enough. We need to see more.”
F1 has agreed a 15-year deal to race in Saudi Arabia, with the venue set to move from Jeddah to a purpose-built venue in Qiddiya, 40km outside the capital Riyadh, in coming seasons. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told Sky Sports: “When we hear this kind of news [about the executions]it’s pretty alarming.
“But I firmly believe that sport, together with the country we travel to, must ensure that human rights are at the heart of our agenda. If I go back a step, last year we saw a lot of women and a lot of young people racing live. That’s the right direction.
“The fact that we will be in Saudi Arabia adds intensity to the spotlight around an issue that might have a different place in the news without us.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/lewis-hamilton-saudi-human-rights-26556399 Lewis Hamilton sent a 'stunning' letter from a boy on death row as he slammed the Saudi Arabia GP