RIYADH (MEMO) – A pop-up installation highlighting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s human rights abuses was placed in Washington DC on Monday to mark the royal’s birthday.
Featuring a list of the names of over 140 prisoners of conscience held in Saudi Arabia, the large-scale sculpture included a fountain pen bleeding red paint over a sheet with a message signed by murdered Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
The message read: “Dear Crown Prince, Thousands of your victims wish you a damned birthday. Sincerely, Jamal Khashoggi.”
Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul in October 2018. A Saudi hit squad was sent to carry out the murder and his body has never been found.
The CIA has said that intercepted messages indicate that the Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing. However, MbS denies the claims, saying he was responsible because he is the de facto leader of Saudi and not because he was behind the hit.
The installation also included a sign highlighting a quote by President Joe Biden, saying: “Jamal’s death will not be in vain and we owe it to his memory to fight for a more just and free world.”
Since taking office, Biden has taken no action against Saudi Arabia. Instead in March he said: “We have never, that I’m aware of … when we have an alliance with a country, gone to the acting head of state and punished that person and ostracized him.”
The installation was part of a project by human rights organizations the Freedom Initiative and Amnesty International focusing on Saudi human rights abuses.
Ever since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested dozens of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.
A human rights organization has sounded the alarm on the fate of prominent Saudi human rights defender Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman al-Tuwaijri, whose whereabouts remain unknown since his detention by regime forces over four months ago.
Sanad human rights organization, which defends political and civil rights in Saudi Arabia and monitors human rights violations and exposes them to public opinion as well as international organizations, announced that Tuwaijri was arbitrarily arrested in April, and his whereabouts remain unknown while he is still incarcerated.
Sanad called on Saudi government authorities to reveal the fate of the rights activist who has been forcibly disappeared, and to release him unconditionally.