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Saudi Arabia: Capital Punishment

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3428, tabled on 23 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia about the enforcement of the death penalty in that country; what assessment they made of that county’s human rights record; and in view of that assessment, what evaluation they have made of the potential takeover of Newcastle Football Club by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Answered on

30 April 2020

We regularly make clear, using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels, that the British Government opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country. The former Minister for the Middle East and North Africa raised our concerns about the death penalty with Deputy Justice Minister HE Abdullah Al Sulaimi on 11 February.

Our most recent assessment of Saudi Arabia's human rights record was published in our latest Human Rights and Democracy Report, published in June 2019. Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights priority country, particularly because of the use of the death penalty and restrictions on women's rights, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief. The Foreign Secretary raised our human rights concerns with Saudi Arabia during his visit in March.

We are aware of a potential takeover bid for Newcastle United Football Club involving Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. The bid is being considered by the Premier League in accordance with its own established procedures.