Rights groups ask May to cancel Saudi prince’s visit to UK

A coalition of human rights group have asked UK Prime Minister Theresa May to withdraw an invitation extended to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit the UK.

According to Press TV, the coalition, including the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK), sent a letter on Monday to the prime minister saying the visit was not in the UK’s interest, nor in the interest of the peoples suffering from the Crown Prince’s adventurism.

“The Saudi regime … has one of the worst human rights records in the world. Torture, arbitrary detention, and other appalling abuses are widely documented,” the letter said.

“It shames us as a nation to support and associate with a brutal dictator who uses hunger as a weapon, and has allowed the largest cholera epidemic in history to develop in Yemen,” it added.

May had invited the crown prince and Saudi King Salman in December to visit the UK in 2018 amid the international outcry over Riyadh’s ongoing war crimes in Yemen.

Britain is a major supporter of the Saudi war on Yemen. The May government has been under fire at home and abroad for refusing to suspend British arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid its ongoing war on Yemen.

London, however, has turned a deaf ear to critics as it sees Saudi Arabia as a trading partner that Britain would need after exit from the European Union (EU).

According to CAAT, the UK government has licensed more than £4.6 billion ($6.3 billion) worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the bombing began in 2015.

The Saudi-led war has so far martyred more than 14,000 people and led to a humanitarian crisis as well as a deadly cholera outbreak in Yemen.

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