Amnesty: “France Should not Participate in the Rehabilitation of a Killer Prince”
Secretary-General of Amnesty International Agnès Callamard strongly denounces the meeting scheduled for December 4 in Saudi Arabia between French President, Emmanuel Macron, and “MBS”.
Agnès Callamard, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, commented on the upcoming Macron-Bin Salman meeting by saying, “This move, whether it is the objective or not, is part of a policy of rehabilitation of the Saudi Prince. It saddens me that Emmanuel Macron lends his aura of the head of state to such an enterprise. It grieves me that it is France, a 'country of human rights', which is used as the tool of this policy.”
Callamard investigated the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN) rapporteur on extrajudicial killings. Her report urged that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS), designated by the CIA as the sponsor of this assassination, be placed under sanctions.
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The Secretary-General of Amnesty International has also touched on MBS’ several attempts to whitewash his image through multiple initiatives, such as buying the English football team Newcastle.
“The crown prince was not tried [dans l’affaire Khashoggi] – Saudi justice sentenced the executors to twenty years in prison and exonerated 'MBS' from all responsibility – but, on the Western scene, he was an outcast. It is the result of the work carried out by civil societies and human rights defenders, who believe that there must be a price to pay for such an act. Macron’s visit, unfortunately, undermines those efforts,” Callamard tersely stressed.
Saudi Arabia Whitewashes Its Human Rights Abuses with Entertainment – HRW
A report by Human Rights Watch contends that Saudi Arabia is funneling billions of dollars into entertainment and events aimed at whitewashing its slate of human rights abuses, from torture reports to murdering journalists, to executing dissidents.
Most recently, the Kingdom has been using the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and its corresponding entertainment performances by renowned artists like Justin Bieber and A$AP Rocky to polish its image in the international arena, diverting its controversial reputation to a more moderate one, as planned by Mohammed bin Salman himself.
In the 2021 Grand Prix, which is set to take place between December 3 and 5, Saudi Arabia reels in Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo, A$AP Rocky, and David Guetta.
Social media activists have recently pressured artists like Justin Bieber to avoid performing in the Kingdom, accusing him of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses. Previously, rapper Nicki Minaj model Emily Ratajkowski, and WWE star John Cena have taken a stance and rejected participating in events in Saudi Arabia.