Louise Mensch: 'Prince Charles must tackle Saudis on their human rights record'

Prince Charles returns to Saudi Arabia in February

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The Independent Online

Britons find Prince Charles’ friendship with the Saudi royal family “repellent” due to the Gulf state’s human rights record – something he should tackle during his official visit there next month, according to former Conservative MP Louise Mensch.

Just days after attending the funeral of King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, Prince Charles will return to the Gulf state during a visit to the Middle East in February.

He is under mounting pressure to raise issues such as the public beheadings and flogging of men and women in the Saudi kingdom - a state where women are not allowed to vote, drive, or leave their home without a male chaperone.

Prince Charles must bring up concerns over human rights “on behalf of all the women in the UK; at least 50 per cent of his future subjects find his friendship with the House of Saud repellent,” Ms Mensch told The Independent.



His “familiarity with the palaces of the Middle East” means the British royal is well placed to “drop a few well-chosen words into his royal hosts’ ears,” said Allan Hogarth, head of policy, Amnesty International UK. 

It is expected that Prince Charles will meet with Saudi Arabia's new monarch, King Salman, as part of a trip that will also include Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates from 7 to 12February.

In a statement, a Clarence House spokesperson said: “The visit will be used to demonstrate the UK’s support for the security, stability and prosperity of these nations and to highlight our concerns about conflict in the region.”