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Criticism of Macron for welcoming Mohammed bin Salman despite the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi

French President Emmanuel Macron was criticized by human rights groups for hosting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a working dinner on the Elysee on Thursday.

The organization “Reporters Without Borders” (RSF) recalled doubts about the participation of the crown prince in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. UN, CIA and report. Extensive journalistic investigation They accuse Bin Salman of killing Khashoggi, the journalist, Khashoggi The Washington Post which was dismantled in 2018 in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

“Almost four years after the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the reintegration of Mohammed bin Salman into international affairs is nothing short of a disregard for truth and justice,” said RSF Secretary General Christophe Delois.

Deloitte asked Macron to ask the Saudi crown prince to release 27 journalists currently detained in the country and to allow the release of Raif Badawi, who is being held after 10 years in prison and whose family is waiting for him in Canada.

“double standard”

Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard told AFP that the prince’s meetings with Macron and a few weeks ago with US President Joe Biden “do not change the fact that [el príncipe Mohammed] He is nothing but a murderer.”

Calamar, who was the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings at the time of the killing and who led the independent investigation, said he was “deeply concerned about the visit, what it means for our world and what it means for Jamal”. [Khashoggi] And he likes people.” The secretary-general described the 36-year-old crown prince as someone who “doesn’t tolerate dissent.”

The reception of bin Salman by world leaders “is all the more shocking because many of them at the time expressed their refusal and commitment not to welcome him to the international community,” Kalamar added, denouncing “double standards” and “values ​​… that have been erased amid concerns about rising oil prices.”

Human Rights Watch France Director, Bénédict Jeanneraud, in twitter that bin Salman “seems to be able to count on Emmanuel Macron to rehabilitate him on the international stage, despite the gruesome assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the relentless crackdown on all criticism of the Saudi government, and the war crimes in Yemen.”

Last year, RSF filed a lawsuit in Germany against bin Salman for Khashoggi’s murder, arguing that the country’s court system is better suited to these types of lawsuits.

This Thursday, two foreign NGOs, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) and Trial International, also announced that they have filed a lawsuit in a French court against the Saudi crown prince for torture and enforced disappearance. The petitioners argue that bin Salman does not enjoy immunity because he is the heir and not the head of state.

The “absolute need” for dialogue.

The president of the “Macronist” parliamentary group of the National Assembly, Aurore Berge, justified the visit with the argument that “dialogue with all countries of the Gulf is an absolute necessity”, while he believes that “this does not mean forgetting the essential issues.” In terms of values ​​and human rights.

Speaking to France Info radio, Berger said Macron “needs to get some interlocutors,” recalling that Biden himself recently traveled to Riyadh, which shows “the need to maintain a deep dialogue with the Gulf states.”

The French president announced this Thursday that this meeting will take place at around half past eight in the afternoon. Only Macron’s reception for bin Salman and his team at the Elysée will be open to journalists, though only cameras and photographers will be allowed to take pictures and no announcements are planned.

Elysee did not reveal the items on the agenda either, although energy, the fight against terrorism and human rights are expected.

After the October 2018 killing of journalist Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and a US report implicating bin Salman, Western leaders avoided bin Salman for several years until Macron himself broke the ice with a visit to Riyadh in December 2021.

Later, other Western leaders did the same, such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and just two weeks ago, United States President Joe Biden. Now the Crown Prince, popularly known by the acronym MBS, will also visit Greece during his short European tour.

Source: El Diario





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