"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.
DECLASSIFIED. A Foreign Office brief for the Queen on the visit of Prince (later King) Fahd to the UK in 1975: “Topics to be avoided: …. recent reports of bribery and corruption in Saudi Arabia”. https://t.co/A6VrpJNmeY pic.twitter.com/hjEAjoDX03— Mark Curtis (@markcurtis30) January 18, 2018
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.