Prince Charles Urged To Speak Out On Saudi Human Rights In His Middle East Tour

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall

Human rights groups have urged Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to speak about Saudi Arabia’s ‘dreadful’ human rights record during a visit to the Gulf state.

Amnesty International called on the royal couple, who are conducting a nine-day tour of the Middle East, to use their political influence to raise concerns about the Gulf kingdom’s poor human rights record.

“Prince Charles has always had the tip of his well-polished brogues in the political world and he should use his influence to tell the royal House of Saud a few home truths about the country’s dreadful human rights record,” said Kate Allen, Amnesty International’s UK Director.

“Surely, arriving in the wake of controversial executions and the jailing of human rights activists Charles will want to at least broach these matters?”

The couple are expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia just days after it was confirmed that seven men were executed for an armed robbery they committed when they were under 18, despite an appeal for clemency by United Nations human rights investigators.

The seven had previously been granted a stay of execution while authorities reviewed their case.

Clarence House said last month that the couple will use the tour, which also includes a visit to Qatar and Oman, to help “help strengthen the United Kingdom’s bilateral relations with key partners in the region.

“The visits will also aim to support UK economic interests by highlighting the growing commercial links between British companies and their counterparts in Jordan, Qatar and Oman, and by encouraging the development of an enterprise culture in the private sector in each country,” it added.

Prince Charles and Camilla visited a refugee camp in Jordan on Wednesday where they met some of the one million people that have been forced to flee Syria.

Prince Charles described the situation in the camp as an “unbelievable and heartbreaking situation” while Camilla hailed the “strength of spirit” shown by the women she encountered.

The British royal family has close personal ties with many Arab rulers in the Middle East. Prince Charles has visited the countries on several occasions while Camilla accompanied her husband on his trip to Qatar in 2007. [ArabBusiness]


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