Fallon: MPs “Unhelpful” To Criticise Saudi Arabia

October 25, 2017

The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, has said that criticism of Saudi Arabia by British MPs is “not helpful” for defence sales to the Kingdom.

Speaking to Parliament’s Defence Committee today, Mr Fallon said that it is “not helpful” when MPs criticise Saudi Arabia. He added that “we need to do everything possible” to “encourage” the Kingdom to allow defence sales to go through.

Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve, said:

“It is chilling that our Defence Secretary sees fit to warn MPs not to criticise one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. The Saudi government has executed hundreds in recent years, including children. Several juveniles and protesters are at imminent risk of death – and still, Britain lends strong support to Saudi security forces, who use torture to extract false confessions.

 

“It is perverse to suggest that these abuses, and the strong risk of British complicity, should escape Parliamentary scrutiny. Mr Fallon must urgently explain himself to MPs and the public.”

ENDS

News to Editors:

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: media@reprieve.org.uk, or +44 (0) 207 553 8140.

2. Mr Fallon’s comments can be heard here.

3. Reprieve assists several protesters, including juveniles, who face execution in Saudi Arabia. Further information on these cases is available at the Reprieve website.

4. For recent detail on UK assistance to Saudi Arabia’s security forces, see here.