Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia beheaded seven men for armed robbery, including two who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. At the last minute, it was generously decided not to crucify the victims after their deaths.
Tomorrow, Prince Charles will visit Saudi Arabia.
Unsurprisingly, the Prince is now being urged to make a public expression of concern at the lamentable human rights record in the country.
Equally unsurprisingly, it seems unlikely he will do any such thing.
Adam Coogle, Saudi Arabia researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the Royalist: “Prince Charles will visit Saudi Arabia this week following the execution of seven men ages 20-24 by Saudi authorities, including two who were under 18 at the time of the alleged crime. At an earlier stop on his trip, speaking to Syrian refugees in Jordan, he spoke of the plight of children, describing the situation as “heartbreaking.” Prince Charles should show the same care for children in Saudi Arabia by making a public display of concern regarding the executions of juvenile offenders.”
We have yet to receive a comment from Charles' spokesperson.
Yesterday, on their third day in Jordan, Charles and Camilla were greeted by United Nations staff at the King Abdullah Park camp in Jordan, which is home to just under 1,000 people who have fled the two-year-old conflict in Syria.
Speaking at the refugee camp HQ, The Prince said he had been struck by the generosity of the Jordanian people.
"Many of these children have been traumatised by the horrors of what they've witnessed before they got here," he said.
"Some of them have lost their parents and had horrendous experiences and it is remarkable what all these wonderful NGOs (non-governmental organisations) are doing to deal with this unbelievable and heartbreaking situation.”
Amnesty International, meanwhile said that torture – such as beatings, electrocution and suspension from the ceiling by ankles or wrists – is rife, unfair trials commonplace and women face severe discrimination.
Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK director, told the Mirror: “We’re not going to try to fill Prince Charles’ luggage with Amnesty reports. Desert diplomacy is not easy, but I’d advise them to tell the truth about Saudi human rights.”
It is intended that the royal couple’s visit will help strengthen business ties with Saudi Arabia.
The country is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, with British exports there amounting to £3.1billion in 2010.