Mohammed bin Salman, 32, has recently visited the UK and the PR cash lavished on his trip must have run into several millions. Day after day all the main media outlets ran huge adverts proclaiming a ‘new’ Saudi thanks to the ‘leadership’ of MbS (as he’s known).
Hell – women are now allowed to go jogging, they can drive, and cinemas are opening. Things must be good there, right?
Beneath the surface of all this flim-flam Saudi Arabia remains a dark place, according to the anti-death penalty group Reprieve. It says that executions have doubled in the eight months after MbS was made Crown Prince. “Many young people and children have been arrested, tortured and sentenced to death based on forced ‘confessions’ and evidence gained from cyber-monitoring and surveillance,” it adds.
Major General Ali al-Qahtani, an aide to a senior Saudi prince who rivals Prince Mohammed, died in government custody in mid-December last year. He was one of more than 200 businessmen, officials, and princes who were rounded up and forcibly detained in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh until they handed over their billions.
Picture source: Kathryn E. Holm