Saudi prince's invitation to Queen's funeral criticized
The prince has not been to Britain since the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
London inviting Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral sparked criticism among human rights activists.
Unnamed sources confirmed to BBC News that the Saudi prince and de facto ruler would travel to the United Kingdom this weekend to pay his respects to the late British monarch but it is yet unclear whether he would attend the funeral on Monday.
Since the brutal murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018 the prince has not been to Britain as the Western intelligence accused him of being behind the killing.
Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Gengiz said the invitation to the funeral was a “stain on the memory of Queen Elizabeth II” and called for the prince’s arrest upon landing in London. Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) organization also accused Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states of using the Queen's funeral as a way to "whitewash" their human rights records.
The late monarch last hosted the Saudi prince in 2018 when he paid a controversial visit to the UK amid protests over his country’s involvement in the Yemen war. According to CAAT’s estimates, Britain has sold the Saudi-led coalition more than $23 billion worth of arms since the war started.
King Charles III has also been criticized for receiving millions of dollars from Gulf politicians and businessmen, including Saudi relatives of Osama bin Laden.
While the money was said to be spent on charity, an investigation was launched by the Metropolitan Police and Charity Commission into Charles’ fundraising practices that allegedly included selling of honors and “cash-for-access” arrangement.