Today I tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament protesting at the upcoming state visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
I tabled the motion because like many others I am angry that the Government will be paying the Saudi king a warm welcome while thousands of incarcerated Saudis face the most brutal forms of torture and the threat of public execution.
This is a dictatorship that allows no political parties, free elections, independent media or trade unions and deprives women and gays of their most basic rights.
The invitation to King Abdullah reflects the double standards of the British Government which talks about promoting human rights, but allows the economic interests of oil multinationals and the defence industry to dictate our foreign policy.
The full text of EDM 2102: State Visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia reads as follows:
“That this House notes with concern the state visit of King Abdullah bin Abdul Azaz al Saud of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom on 30th October 2007; believes that Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive societies on earth, with no political parties, free elections, independent media or trade unions; views with alarm the systematic human rights abuses that exist within the Kingdom, such as the lack of basic rights for women, the practice of public beheadings and the repression of homosexuals; condemns the recent sale of 72 Eurofighters to such a barbaric regime; and calls upon the British Government to base its foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia on democracy and human rights rather than on narrow economic interests.”