Campaigners condemn Natural History Museum for hosting Saudi Arabian regime

By agency reporter
October 11, 2018

The Natural History Museum in London is hosting the Saudi Arabian embassy tonight (11 October 2018) for  an event to mark Saudi Arabia's National Day. This comes at a time when the regime has been accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen going into the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

The Saudi regime has one of the worst human rights records in the world, and is waging war in Yemen. The bombing of Yemen has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Thousands of people have been killed and the destruction of vital infrastructure has led to the worst cholera outbreak on record.

The regime is also the world's largest buyers of UK arms, which it is using in the ongoing bombardment of Yemen. Since the bombing of Yemen began in 2015, the UK has licensed £4.7 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, including:

  • £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licences (Aircraft, helicopters, drones)
  • £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licences (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "The Natural History Museum is a very prestigious venue, and should not be hosting a regime which has been accused of killing journalists and is inflicting a humanitarian catastrophe on the people of Yemen. 

"The Saudi authorities have a contempt for human rights, and events like this will undoubtedly be regarded as an endorsement. It's time for the Museum to take a stand."

 Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said: "Hosting the Saudi embassy so soon after the alleged murder of a dissident journalist will taint the museum's reputation. Conducting business as usual with the Saudi regime normalises its crimes and emboldens it to continue its policy of repression and abuse."

 In 2012 the Museum hosted the reception for the Farnborough Intrernational Airshow, a major arms fair that brought many of the world's biggest arms companies together with repressive regimes from around the world.

* Campaign Against Arms Trade



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