Amnesty slams ex-golfer for Saudi Arabia sportswashing
Amnesty International says Greg Norman's remarks that the Saudi government's murder of Khashoggi was a 'mistake' are wrong and seriously misguided."
Amnesty International criticized, on Thursday, former world number one golfer Greg Norman over "wrong and seriously misguided" remarks about Saudi Arabia's human rights record and the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Australian, who is chief executive of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, was questioned on the issue at a launch event for the tournament near London on Wednesday.
A US intelligence assessment found that Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, approved an operation to kill critic and columnist Khashoggi.
Norman, 67, when questioned by reporters at the Centurion Club, which will host the first tournament of the LIV series on June 9-11, referred to past "mistakes".
"This whole thing about Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi and human rights, talk about it, but also talk about the good that the country is doing in changing its culture," Norman said.
"Look, we've all made mistakes and you just want to learn by those mistakes and how you can correct them going forward," he added.
"Wrong and seriously misguided"
Norman's comments outraged Amnesty International, and Felix Jakens, Amnesty International UK's head of campaigns, considered that the golf tour was another example of the "sportswashing" of Saudi Arabia's rights record.
Jakens underlined that "Greg Norman's remarks that the Saudi government's brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi and its attempted cover-up were a 'mistake' are wrong and seriously misguided."
"Far from trying to 'move on', the Saudi authorities have attempted to sweep their crimes under the carpet, avoiding justice and accountability at every turn," Jakens indicated.
He mentioned that "the LIV Golf Invitational Series is yet one more event in a series of sportswashing exercises that the Saudi authorities are using to clean its blood-soaked image."