European Council President Charles Michel is scheduled to have an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the end of this June.
This visit, regardless of the topics, indicates a friendly relationship with the Saudi regime and tacit support for its violations.
The reputation of the Saudi regime has deteriorated greatly in recent years, due to its unprecedented level of violations especially under Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, leader of the military intervention in Yemen, who was also directly involved in the brutal assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
Many human rights calls were addressed to Charles Michel to cancel his scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia.
The organizations, including Together for Justice, also called on the European Council to take a firm stance against human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and pressure Riyadh to release prisoners of conscience and stop restricting freedoms in the country.
The Saudi authorities never stopped committing gross human rights violations, whether against their own people or against other peoples.
At home; the repressive campaign launched by MBS against opponents, opinion holders, advocates, academics, journalists and activists, men and women, continues. Every day in Saudi new arrests enforced disappearances, and prison violations continue.
Abroad, Saudi official threats continue to affect opponents and exiles. They are blackmailed with harming their families in Saudi Arabia in case they did not stop opposing the government.
Carrying out an assassination is also planned, as happened with the Saudi journalist in the Washington Post Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, where he was dismembered and his body was hidden and has not yet been handed over to the family.
Furthermore, the Saudi regime has developed its systems and imported advanced equipment to facilitate the electronic espionage, tracking and hacking operations carried out by the regime against opponents and Twitter users, inside and outside the country, to identify their identities and monitor their places to arrest, abuse and discredit them.
Michel’s visit to Saudi Arabia is incomprehensible, as he made statements last November that the issue of human rights and its promotion, preservation, and defense in Saudi Arabia are among the priorities of the agenda of the European Union.
We, in “Together for Justice”, affirm that Michel’s visit to Saudi Arabia means legitimizing or approving the violations carried out by the Saudi authorities, and giving it the green light to continue committing more violations.
We call the world’s decision-makers and officials in the various bodies of the international community to stop cooperating with authoritarian regimes that violate human rights without any regard for international laws, covenants, and charters.