Saudi Arabia: Mass Executions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:53 pm on 24th April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Leader of the Liberal Democrats 12:53 pm, 24th April 2019

May I ask the Minister specifically what representations were made in respect of the 12 condemned men I referred to the Prime Minister’s attention on 3 December, including Abbas al-Hassan, who was executed yesterday?

Does the Minister recall his predecessor’s statement on 7 March 2018 that the Foreign Office was

“concerned with those cases where minors might have been indicted”—[Official Report, 7 March 2018;
Vol. 637, c. 319.]

but that he had received assurances on that matter? Is the Minister now aware of the fact that three of the executed people, and possibly more, were indeed juveniles, and that in most of these cases—again, in flagrant disregard for international law—most appear to have been tortured prior to the extraction of confessions? Does he acknowledge that there have been around 100 executions so far this year and that, according to the campaigning group Reprieve, Saudi Arabia is on track to execute 300 people by the end of this year? Will the Minister agree to meet me and representatives of Reprieve to go through the list of condemned people and see how representations could most effectively be made?

Finally, does he accept that Britain’s moral position on this issue is somewhat compromised by the continued supply of arms, fuelling atrocities in the civil war in Yemen, and that we are in urgent need of a reappraisal of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, given that the continued medieval barbarism of the regime does not constitute the basis for a friendly alliance, and indeed makes it an enemy of our values and our human rights?