Theresa May in Saudi Arabia – Reprieve Response

November 29, 2017

Theresa May has arrived in Saudi Arabia today for an official visit focused on improving trade relations after Brexit.

This comes at a time when the Kingdom is executing young men for protest-related offences and involved in a damaging conflict in Yemen.

Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve, said:

“Theresa May is arriving is Saudi Arabia just after they have executed their 125th person this year. Many more face imminent execution for attending protests calling for greater democratic rights, some when they were only children. They were sentenced to death in courts that relied on confessions gained through torture.

 

“At the same time the UK is supporting the Saudi and US-led coalition in Yemen through military training and intelligence sharing. Innocent men women and children have been killed in a conflict which has made the humanitarian crisis worse. Now the very people that could rebuild the country have lost faith in the ability of the coalition to help them.

 

“Mrs May must end UK support for Saudi abuses and when she meets the Crown Prince, these issues must be at the top of her agenda. The Prime Minister might be desperate for a trade deal but it should not come at the cost of compromising core British values and human rights.”

 

Notes to Editors:

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization with offices in New York and London. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: adam.smith@reprieve.org.uk, or +44 (0)7768 558435.

2. More information on death penalty cases in Saudi Arabia can be found here.

3. More on UK armed forces involvement in training Saudi Arabian soldiers fighting in Yemen can be found here.

4. More on the UK’s role in US air strikes in Yemen can be found here.