WASHINGTON, Nov 20, 2020 (AFP) – Families of imprisoned Saudis appealed Friday for the world to speak up as the kingdom hosts the Group of 20 summit, saying that challenging the kingdom’s international reputation was crucial to winning their freedom.
As leaders of the world’s largest economies prepared for talks Saturday that have gone virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic, activists staged a “counter-summit” in hopes of throwing a spotlight on the ultra-conservative kingdom’s human rights record.
PEN America, the literary group that defends free expression, called the online forum amid continued outrage over the 2018 murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, who was strangled and dismembered inside Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate.
“All of our relatives are in danger. They are facing the threat of what Jamal Khashoggi has seen on a daily basis,” said Areej al-Sadhan, who says her brother, Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, was picked by up Saudi secret police in March 2018.
“Your voices are going to help keep them safe,” she said.