IHRC has called on the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call off a planned visit to Saudi Arabia this week in light of the kingdom’s worsening human rights record.
Some 81 prisoners, among them child protestors and political activists, were put to death on March 12 in the largest mass execution in the country’s history.
The executions were ordered by the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a brutally authoritarian figure who tolerates zero opposition to his autocratic regime.
The move drew widespread condemnation from human rights groups all over the world.
IHRC has written to Johnson reminding him of the prince’s sanguinary human rights record.
Mohammed Bin Salman has been responsible for arresting scores of high-profile clerics, analysts, businessmen and princes, as well as women’s rights activists who claim they were tortured after being accused of having “suspicious contact” with foreign entities.
He is also accused of ordering the murder of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. We will spare recounting the gruesome details of that murder, blamed on bin Salman by none other than the CIA.
The crown prince is also the architect of Saudi Arabia’s Yemen policy which has seen the country lead a coalition against one of the parties in the impoverished country’s civil war that erupted in 2015. Saudi forces have relentlessly attacked hospitals, schools, and neighbourhoods causing untold loss of life and destruction killing an estimated 400,000 people.
The Saudi invasion of Yemen and the abuses of its forces there are as much a violation of civilised norms than the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yet instead of punishing the country with sanctions, the UK has continued to supply Riyadh with weapons that it uses to silence dissent and opposition at home as well as abroad.
Drawing parallels with the UK’s treatment of Russia, the letter says that in the light of the sanctions applied to Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, should the visit to Saudi Arabia go ahead “it will be viewed as the supine act of hypocrisy and tarnish this country’s international reputation”.
The full text of the letter can be read here.