British rights groups call on Theresa May to cancel Saudi crown prince visit UK


Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 16 January 2018| 28 Rabi ul Aakhir 1439

British rights organisations have called on the UK government to cancel the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, to Britain, which was announced by the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, last month.

In a joint letter that was submitted yesterday to May’s office, the organisations said: “The Saudi Crown Prince is responsible for the crimes committed in his country against activists, including prison, detention, torture, forced disappearance and execution.”

“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.

The rights activists also slammed the British 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 Saudi regime intervenes in other countries ‘internal affairs, such as in Bahrain, where they help the regime there to suppress the activists,” the letter read.

“It [Saudi regime] also imposed the blockade on Qatar, which violates all international conventions, and detained the Lebanese prime minister in an effort to impose conditions on other states,” the activists noted.

“Bin Salman’s visit to Britain is a disgrace to the UK,” the letter’s signatories stressed, warning that “the interests and values of the British people contradict with this visit.”

The letter was reported to have been signed by the Stop the War coalition, the Stop Arming Saudi group, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK, and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

Moreover, the rights groups launched a campaign against the visit on the UK government’s official website with the aim to collect “as many signatures against the visit as possible.”

May visited Saudi Arabia twice last year, the first was in April and the other was in November, during which she met the Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and held talks with the Crown Prince and the Saudi Minister of Defence.

Source – MEMO