Criticism of Saudi Arabia 'not helpful' to defence sales, says Fallon

By agency reporter
October 25, 2017

The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, has said that criticism of Saudi Arabia by British MPs is “not helpful” for defence sales to the Kingdom.

Speaking to Parliament’s Defence Committee today 25 October 2017), Mr Fallon said that it is “not helpful” when MPs criticise Saudi Arabia. He added that “we need to do everything possible” to “encourage” the Kingdom to allow defence sales to go through.

Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of the human rights organisation Reprieve, said: “It is chilling that our Defence Secretary sees fit to warn MPs not to criticise one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. The Saudi government has executed hundreds in recent years, including children. Several juveniles and protesters are at imminent risk of death – and still, Britain lends strong support to Saudi security forces, who use torture to extract false confessions.

 “It is perverse to suggest that these abuses, and the strong risk of British complicity, should escape Parliamentary scrutiny. Mr Fallon must urgently explain himself to MPs and the public.”

* Michael Fallon's comments can be heard here



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