Written by James Montague Produced by Tifo Studios

Saudi Arabia is and remains one of the world’s most uncompromising abusers of human rights despite its attempt at sportswashing. There is zero democracy. According to the Cornell Law School’s Death Penalty Database, Saudi Arabia has executed at least 1065 people over the past decade. There is, effectively, a gender apartheid in the country even after taking into account the lifting of the ban on women attending games and the ban on driving. Still, in November both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International revealed they had collected testimonies from leading women’s rights activists who had recently been arrested in the kingdom and, it is alleged, tortured. The liberal blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes for his outspoken online activism. He remains in prison, reportedly in poor health after receiving his first 50 lashes, along with hundreds of other political prisoners. But he escaped lightly compared to Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi Washington Post journalist and critic of Mohammed bin Salman who was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, murdered, dismembered and disposed of by a squad of security personal with links to Mohamed bin Salman. He quickly acquired the nickname Mohamed Bone Saw and became something of an international pariah.

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