Giles Richards, the British sports correspondent for the British newspaper The Guardian, criticized the decision to host Saudi Arabia in the inaugural race for the Extreme E Championship, noting that it “contradicts” the goals for which those competitions were launched.
The journalist says the decision to host is “contradictory to say the least”, as it contradicts the “advanced” ideas of the car racing series, as the championship is dedicated to highlighting the issue of global climate change and encouraging participation. Of women in competitions.
The Saudi official press agency (SPA) said in a statement that the city of al-Ola managed to host the event, last Sunday, with the participation of nine teams and 18 drivers and drivers from world champions in an electric rally.
According to her, the event falls within the framework of the initiatives of the “Quality of Life” program, one of the goals of the “Vision of the Kingdom 2030” of the Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman.
The main goal of the “Extreme E” racing series is to select and treat sites affected by climate change, to reach a clean environment and clean energy, in accordance with the “2030 Vision” and to make the kingdom a pioneer. In alternative energy.
The SPA notes that these goals are in line with the Crown Prince’s announcement of the Green Saudi Arabia and Green Middle East initiatives, which aim to reduce carbon emissions from oil use by 60 percent, plant 50 billion trees and fight pollution. And land degradation, and conservation of marine life.
As for the Guardian, he criticized the opening “in a country that Amnesty International describes as having a ‘terrible human rights record’, especially in relation to women’s activities.”
He refers to Amnesty International’s condemnation, last November, of a statement issued by the Saudi state security apparatus classifying feminism, homosexuality and atheism as “extreme ideas.”
He pointed to the trial of 13 Saudi activists, including Lujin al-Thulul, who was only recently released after being sentenced to prison, but is still under surveillance and has been banned from traveling.
A Saudi court rejects Lujin’s appeal to the Thulul and confirms her travel ban
Other activists are still being held, the most recent of whom is Saudi aid worker Abdullah al-Sadhan, who has reportedly served a 20-year prison sentence and a 20-year travel ban.
Washington is “concerned” about reports of a Saudi activist being sentenced to prison
On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department expressed “concern” at reports that “the Saudi counter-terrorism tribunal has sentenced Saudi aid worker Abdul Rahman al-Sadhan to 20 years, followed by a ban on travel for another 20 years,” the ministry said in a statement.
Saudi human rights organizations accuse Saudi Arabia of using what is known as “sports washing” or “sports laundering,” meaning organizing sporting events to create a positive image about them.
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, advised extremist regulators and drivers to “speak out” on human rights in the kingdom, saying “a few carefully chosen words can help reduce the impact of sportswashing and address activists.” In detail.
The Guardian also notes that the scene is also “unsuitable” for climate change purposes, as a “country whose oil company (Aramco) contributes directly to the environment’s catastrophic problems” has been selected.
“Saudi Arabia has, however, managed to spread a positive image of it, and it is preparing to start Formula 1 races on December,” Richards says.
A spa statement said Saudi Arabia had managed to host several women’s sports despite the corona plague. At the beginning of the year she hosted the largest rally in the world, the Dakar Rally over a period of 13 days, and after 32 days she hosted. Formula E for the third time on the territory of the kingdom, then “Extreme E”.