Saudi Crown Prince visit to London amid torture and death sentences

by Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve

Downing Street has officially announced the visit of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman to the UK next week, starting on 7th March.

Mohammed bin Salman’s long overdue reforms in Saudi Arabia must not be used to mask the ongoing crackdown on the exercise of fundamental rights.

Since his appointment as crown prince, the final death sentences of protesters, including a number who were children at the time, have been confirmed amid serious allegations of torture and an unprecedented number of executions.

Meanwhile the close relationship Theresa May trumpets has led to British police officers training Saudi agents in the kind of cyber-monitoring techniques which have been used to justify death sentences.

Our Prime Minister must make clear that no UK assistance can continue until the Crown Prince abolishes the death penalty for protest-related offences and immediately reviews the cases of all those facing imminent execution.

More to come very soon on our campaigning actions around this visit…

More on Saudi ‘reforms’ and human rights abuses

Since launching Vision 2030 – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s blueprint for a bright future – the authorities have executed more than 300 people, including children and peaceful protesters.

But there have also been attempts at reform, with women being allowed to drive and participate in elections for the first time. A commitment to a transformed society, open to the international community and international business, is at the heart of Vision 2030.

There is hype and hope in equal measure, but what does the does the future according to Vision 2030 include, and what does it leave out? Do these reforms mean real change is coming or will torture and beheadings continue? Will Saudi Arabia execute 2030 people by the year 2030, as current rates predict?

We take a closer look at the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia in light of Vision 2030, and attempt to answer these questions.

Quick look: The death penalty in Saudi Arabia

The facts, the executed and those facing execution in one of the world’s most prolific executing countries.

5 alarming facts about executions in Saudi Arabia

What you may or may not know about one of the world’s most prolific executors.

What is Vision 2030? 5 things you need to know.

Here’s what you need to know about the current changes and turmoil in Saudi Arabia, and what these “reforms” mean for human rights.