Human Rights Must Not Finish Last

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News Article

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Late last month, the Khalifa Sports City in Isa Town, Bahrain, was the venue for the inaugural combat sports event entitled Brave Combat Federation. While Bahrain’s aspiration to be a serious player in mixed martial arts is commendable, its use of sports diplomacy to distract attention from its dismal human-rights record is deplorable.

“Much like any authoritarian regime, sports in Bahrain are not just used for entertainment purposes, but for political gain and as a mechanism to distort reality and present a fabricated image of peace and prosperity on the international scene,” writes Egyptian sports journalist Karim Zidan.

Bahrain is, of course, not the only or first country to attempt to raise its international stature while downplaying its human-rights abuses.

Publication Title

The Express Tribune