A Brutal Dictator Who Uses Hunger As A Weapon; Rights Group Ask Theresa May To Cancel Mohammed Bin Salman’s Visit
Bin Salman is the second most senior member of the Saudi regime, which has one of the worst human rights records in the world

British rights organisations have called on the UK Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, to Britain. The visit was announced in December by the Prime Minister and is expected in the weeks ahead.

On Monday, in a joint letter submitted to Mrs May’s office, the coalition of human rights organisations, including the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) announced that the visit was not in the UK’s interest, nor in the interest of the peoples suffering from the Crown Prince’s adventurism.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince has overseen the devastating bombardment of Yemen and holds the second most senior role in the repressive Saudi regime, which has one of the worst human rights records in the world.

“The Saudi regime … has one of the worst human rights records in the world. Torture, arbitrary detention, and other appalling abuses are widely documented, in 2017 alone, Saudi authorities executed over 100 people.” the letter said.

The human right group said Saudi Arabia has violated international humanitarian law in Yemen and unjustly jailed activists peacefully seeking social reforms.

“The Saudi regime intervenes in other countries’ internal affairs, such as in Bahrain, where they help the regime there to suppress the activists” it added.

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The rights organisations also slammed the UK government’s defence and arms support to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which they believed was the major reason for the escalation in Yemen. The government has continued to arm and support the Saudi regime since the ongoing bombardment began in March 2015. The UK has licensed £4.6 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, including £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licences (Aircraft, helicopters, drones) and £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licences (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures).

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“He [Saudi Crown Prince] is also responsible for the serious war crimes in Yemen which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people, including women and children,” the letter read: “British-made jets and bombs have played a major role in destroying civilian targets and the poor nation’s [Yemen’s] infrastructure,”

“It shames us as a nation to support and associate with a brutal dictator who uses hunger as a weapon, and has allowed the largest cholera epidemic in history to develop in Yemen. The interests of the people of Britain, and the peoples suffering from the Crown Prince’s adventurism, are not served by this visit. The invitation must be withdrawn.” the letter added and was signed by the Bahrain Institute for Human Rights, Sheba for Democracy and Human Rights, Human Rights for Yemen, Iraqi Democrats, and Stop the War Coalition.

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