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Demonstrators wave placards from an open top bus during a protest against the visit by Saudi Crown Prince  Mohammad bin Salman in central London on March 6.
Demonstrators wave placards from an open top bus during a protest against the visit by Saudi Crown Prince  Mohammad bin Salman in central London on March 6.

Corbyn Urges UK Pressure on MBS

Rights groups and opposition legislators have criticized Britain’s support for bin Salman, particularly over the licensing of about $6.37 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the start of the Yemen conflict

Corbyn Urges UK Pressure on MBS

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader has called on his country’s prime minister to use the visit of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to London for a protest against kingdom’s war in Yemen.
Jeremy Corbyn said on Tuesday that Theresa May, the prime minister, should announce to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, on Wednesday that the UK would no longer supply arms to Riyadh “while the devastating Saudi-led bombing of Yemen continues”, Al Jazeera reported.
May should also “make clear Britain’s strong opposition to widespread human and civil rights abuses in Saudi Arabia”, he said.
Mohammed bin Salman is scheduled to have talks with May, as well as a rare audience with Queen Elizabeth and dinner with Prince Charles after arriving from Egypt.
Boris Johnson, British foreign minister, lauded security ties with “one of Britain’s oldest friends in the region” in a newspaper article last week and praised bin Salman’s reforms.
The recently introduced changes are ostensibly aimed at reducing his country’s reliance on oil, tackling chronic corruption and transforming the kingdom.
But rights groups and opposition legislators have criticized Britain’s support for bin Salman, particularly over the licensing of about $6.37 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the start of the Yemen conflict.
Yemen has been torn apart by conflict since 2014, when Houthi rfighters, allied with troops loyal to former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, captured much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.
A US-backed coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign against the fighters in March 2015 to try to restore the fugitive President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Since then, more than 13,000 people have been killed in the fighting, millions have been forced from their homes and the impoverished country has been pushed to the brink of famine.
Due to a crippling Saudi air and sea blockade on the country, more than three-quarters of the population—some 22 million people—need humanitarian assistance, while 11 million require dire help in order to survive.

  Propaganda Vans Hit UK Streets
The jet-black vehicles have been seen in the centre of the capital emblazoned with a picture of the royal and the words: “Welcome Saudi Crown Prince.”
An advert was also seen on London taxis and on the side of the M4 reading: “He is bringing change to Saudi Arabia,” UK Express reported.
Social media users branded the stunts “propaganda” and “nauseating”.
Protest vans have been driven around Parliament Square already branding the Saudi royal a “war criminal”.
Protests were set to take place outside Downing Street on Wednesday, with groups including Reprieve and Amnesty International slamming the country’s human rights record.
The Prime Minister will raise “deep concerns” and call for urgent progress on securing a political resolution to the crisis when she meets the crown prince, Downing Street says.
The PM will “acknowledge the steps” taken recently by Saudi Arabia to address the crisis but will “stress the importance of full and unfettered humanitarian and commercial access” through the ports of Hodeidah and Salif, which have previously been hit by coalition blockades.
Her spokesman said, “She will also reiterate how seriously we take allegations of violations against international humanitarian law and emphasize the need to ensure that these are investigated swiftly and thoroughly.
“She will make clear that we urgently need to see progress on the political track, which is ultimately the only way to end the conflict and humanitarian suffering in Yemen.”
Reprieve said, since the crown prince’s appointment in July 2017, 133 people had been executed compared with 67 in the previous eight months.
And Amnesty said reforms in Saudi Arabia were “largely a mirage”, with “peaceful critics” of the government thrown in jail and women reliant on permission from men if they want to travel, be educated or get a job.

 

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