Khashoggi Assassination Anniversary: The UK Should Withdraw MBS’s Visit Invitation

Together for Justice strongly condemns the invitation extended by the UK authorities to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to visit the country in late fall of this year, to be his first visit since he was accused of being involved in the assassination of Saudi journalist and human rights defender Jamal Khashoggi.

The planned visit is scheduled to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in his country’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018 by Saudi agents with direct orders from MBS and his advisors, as revealed by US intelligence investigations. Instead of imposing international sanctions on him, he has been welcomed in different countries.

The move is a clear and blatant violation of human rights by the UK government, and constitutes a green light for the MBS regime to commit more heinous crimes with complete impunity. Such invitation makes the UK a partner in MBS’s crimes.

This visit confirms that economic and commercial interests come first, and that human rights are no longer a top priority.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract the UK vote in November to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, while in return, the UK is negotiating a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, countries of which Saudi Arabia is a key member.

This came in coincidence with the growing criticism against Saudi Arabia over its sportwashing attempts, including the Newcastle United deal, the buying of seven prominent football players, and the Saudi-funded PGA and LIV golf tours.

In this regard, we stress the need to stop cooperation with the Saudi regime until it ensures respect for human rights, releases political prisoners, investigates the violations committed against dissidents and their families at home and abroad, stops the war in Yemen, and holds accountable all those responsible for war crimes, including MBS.

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