May welcomes Crown Prince as Saudi Arabia plans to behead disabled man and 14-year-old boy



Maya Foa

A human rights organisation has criticised the Prime Minister for inviting Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince to the UK as his country continues to repress and execute its own people.

Prime Minister Theresa May has invited the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to London, according to reports.

The visit comes amid a speeding up of executions in Saudi Arabia under the Crown Prince’s leadership. Research by human rights organization Reprieve shows that 142 people were executed in Saudi Arabia this year. Around 70 per cent of these executions were carried out after Mohammed bin Salman took power in June this year.

Reprieve has raised concerns for 14 political protesters whose death sentences were upheld over summer, and who face imminent execution. The 14 were convicted on the basis of ‘confessions’ extracted through torture.

Among them is a disabled man, Munir al-Adam, and a juvenile, Mujtaba al-Sweikat. Mujtaba is one of six juveniles who face execution in the Kingdom on charges relating to protests.

The Crown Prince has also faced criticism over sweeping new counter-terrorism provisions signed in November.

Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said: “Theresa May has invited Mohammed bin Salman to Britain amid a wave of repression in Saudi Arabia. Despite the Crown Prince’s rhetoric of reform, the reality is that on his watch, executions have sped up, dissent has been criminalised, and juvenile protesters are facing the swordsman’s blade.

“The Prime Minister has talked about promoting British values in the wake of Brexit – she must show she means it, by calling on MBS to release juvenile protesters from death row.”