UK boosts funding for crackdowns in Gulf states guilty of human rights abuses

Saudi Arabia given cash for ’counter terrorism’ – and Bahrain for ‘juvenile justice law’ blamed for arbitrary detentions of teenagers

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Tuesday 20 September 2022 16:37 BST
Liz Truss can't name single occasion she has raised human rights with a Gulf state

The UK is quietly boosting funding to help Gulf countries condemned for human rights abuses improve “public order” and implement crackdowns, including on children.

Saudi Arabia, which executed 81 men in a single day in March, is receiving cash for “counter-terrorism” as well as for “strategic communications” and “influencer engagement”, a document shows.

The regime in Riyadh has also provoked outrage by handing a 34-year jail sentence to a Saudi student and mother-of-two at Leeds University for retweeting posts by dissidents.

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