17:17 GMT02 December 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Over 11,000 people have signed a petition urging the UK Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the United Kingdom due to the drastic human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, according to the UK parliament website.

    "We call on the Prime Minister to withdraw the invitation for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to visit the UK. The Saudi Arabian regime has one of the worst human rights records in the world. Torture and arbitrary detention are widely documented. In 2017 alone, over 100 people were executed," the petition read.

    The petition will be considered for debate in parliament when it raises 100,000 signatures.

    The document follows the UK government’s announcement made on Tuesday, saying that Saudi crown prince would arrive at the United Kingdom on March 7 to hold talks with May.

    ​In response, the government noted that regular contacts, which include debates on reform and human rights, were an important part of the states' strong bilateral ties. It further stressed that the crown prince's policies had modernized social and economic sectors in Saudi Arabia by, in particular, expanding women's rights.

    ​In early February, UK human rights activists from Stop the War Coalition told Sputnik that they were preparing street protests on the day of the crown prince's visit. One of the main points of concern for the activists is the sale of UK weapons to Saudi Arabia for deployment in their campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    petition, official visit, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia
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