Bahrain death row inmate’s son asks Hamilton to help save his father


The is the son man on death row in Bahrain again sent a drawing to the seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamiltonstill hoping that the British driver could save his father’s life.

Ahead of Sunday’s season-opening F1 race in Bahrain, Ahmed proudly showed off a drawing of Hamilton’s iconic number 44 Mercedes car, along with his own words of hope: Sir Lewis, another F1 where my innocent father is on death row. Please help free him..”

12 year old son Muhammad Ramadanformer member of the Bahraini security forces facing the death penalty.

The drawing was shown to The Associated Press by Ahmed, who was accompanied by his mother, Zainab Ebrahim, as they spoke during an interview Thursday in Bahrain. Ahmed spoke softly as he talked about why he drew this.

“I made this drawing to cheer Lewis up,” he said. Gathering his courage, he added, “There are a lot of stories that Lewis can influence and help change.”

Hamilton said he hadn’t seen the drawing yet

“But every year I get letters from those who are suffering, and all I can do is try my best to empathize with those who are facing these problems and who can tell these tragic stories,” Hamilton said Friday at the Grand Prix. at Bahrain. “I think the burden of change really needs to be placed on governments and those in power. That’s why we have to keep using the platforms that we have, when we get to these countries, make sure they hold back serious conversations about what’s going on there.”

Hamilton has previously said F1 has a “duty” to raise awareness of human rights where it races. But he says drivers also need to push for long-term change.

“We have platforms to try and raise awareness. There are great organizations out there that are fighting for human rights, and I support them,” Hamilton said. “But there is a lot of work, chaos reigns in the world. We have seen more displaced refugees than ever before, not only in Ukraine, but also in Syria and Yemen.”

Ahmed had previously drawn Hamilton’s car and sent it to the star British racing driver in the hope that he could influence his father’s future.

His father was one of three alleged torture victims who personally wrote to Hamilton in November 2020.

Mohammed Ramadan detailed how he was arrested after supporting a democratic uprising in Bahrain, then allegedly charged with murder and beaten with iron bars to extract a confession from him.

After reading these letters, Hamilton promised not to ignore requests for better human rights in Bahrain and other F1 racing countries.

“Lewis is the best,” Ahmed said, smiling sheepishly when asked what he thought of Hamilton’s ongoing efforts. “I was very happy to hear Lewis say he was ready to help those in need.”

Mohammed Ramadan’s family relies on Hamilton

Ahmed’s mother hopes that Hamilton’s voice will become even louder for those who need it most.

“Lewis has influence and he can talk to his friends and he can influence the Bahraini government to reinvestigate and talk about the victims,” she said, sitting next to her son. “Perhaps to find justice for their deeds.”

For Zainab Ebrahim and her three children, visits to prison are rare and, as she wearily explains, so limited that they can barely put a finger on their father’s hand to feel the slightest connection with him.

“It is very difficult without a father. Ahmed was four years old when his father was arrested and the twins were two,” she said. “It had a big impact on their psychology. They cried a lot, got upset. They always ask about their father.”

The AP agency asked the National Communications Center of the Government of Bahrain for its position on human rights.

“Bahrain has a zero-tolerance policy for any mistreatment and has put in place a robust system for investigating complaints,” the NCC said in a statement. “Bahrain welcomes and strongly supports the role that Formula 1 can play in highlighting human rights issues in all the countries in which it operates now and in the future.”

Hamilton inspired other alleged torture victims such as naja yusuf and Ali Al-Haji, two others who wrote to Hamilton in November 2020.

Al-Hajji is in Jaw Prison, 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the track where Hamilton races on Sunday.

Hamilton was trending in prison.

“Prisoners started to write or draw ‘Sir 44’ or ‘Lewis 44’ on their clothes, which we wore as a sign of support while watching the race,” AlHadji recently wrote to Hamilton. “I consider you not only as a world champion in sports, but also as a person who defends the rights of his prisoners.”

Hamilton was touched when he read about it.

“I never thought in a million years that I could have such an impact on people, especially in positions like this, some of them with incredible stories fighting against a complex system,” Hamilton said. “I really try to have serious conversations in the background, try to improve this system for those who are currently in prison. It’s not an easy line, it’s risky, it’s complicated, it’s a complex relationship. But the important thing for me is to see a better future.”


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