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BIC "reinstates" employees

NEWS STORY
11/01/2012

At a time when there are renewed calls for the cancellation of the Bahrain event organizers at the Bahrain International Circuit have announced that sacked employees at the track have been reinstated.

At the height of the unrest which eventually led to the cancellation of the 2011 event, it's believed that many of the staff at the circuit were sacked, with as many as a quarter being arrested.

While Bernie Ecclestone remains confident that the 2012 event will go ahead as planned, at the weekend the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights called for the race to be cancelled, its vice-president Nabeel Rajab - who has allegedly been beaten by the security forces - calling on the teams and drivers to boycott the race.

However, race organisers were quick to react, a spokesman for the Bahrain International Circuit insisting on Monday that all was well and that action had been taken following the publication of a report in November which acknowledged that there had been human rights violations in the Gulf state.

In a statement issued today by Dragon Associates, an independently owned strategic advisory and communications consultancy, organisers reveal that the sacked employees have been reinstated.

It reads:

The Bahrain International Circuit today announced that it has reinstated employees who had previously been dismissed following the protests carried out in 2011. The reinstatement is in accordance with the royal decree of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

The employees had been dismissed as they were deemed to be in breach of contract during the protests in Bahrain in 2011. Following the protests, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa commissioned an independent inquiry to investigate the protests, the findings of which were published in November 2011. The independent report made a number of recommendations, which the Government pledged to implement by February 2012, which included recommendations with regard to the treatment of dismissed workers.

The management team of the Bahrain International Circuit ("BIC"), which is the home of motorsport in the Middle East and host of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, has already contacted and consulted with the relevant staff with regards to their reinstatement and it hopes to see all employees returning to work as soon as possible.

The reinstatement of the BIC employees coincides with similar actions being undertaken by a number of other public and private organisations.

Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, said: "The reinstatement of our BIC colleagues is part of an important initiative towards national reconciliation and unity for the kingdom as a whole. I therefore welcome back our colleagues into the BIC family as we now look to focus on the future and the important job at hand.

"The Bahrain International Circuit, and in particular the Formula 1 Grand Prix, is of huge significance to our country, acting as a strong unifier, given the support it receives from all sections of Bahrain society. I now look forward to working with all BIC colleagues to ensure that we continue to provide world class track events, which every citizen of Bahrain can be proud to support."

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