Theresa May's December invitation to Mohammed bin Salman authorising his visit to the UK had previously been refuted by multiple human rights groups including the Campaigns Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK). Governmental pressure, however, to revoke the visit is set to intensify following a new petition order to ban his visit.

Amidst the pending arrival, the AOHR UK condemned the UK's superficial relationship with Saudi Arabia to accrue various arms deals, while ignoring war crimes across Yemen and the Crown Prince's responsibility as the transparent overseer.

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In a New Year Press Release the AOHR UK stated:

"Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) confirms the regrettable nature of the relationship between the UK and the Saudi Kingdom.

AOHR UK considers the UK to be in grave breach of its international obligations, especially the Rome Convention establishing the International Criminal Court.

AOHR UK calls upon the Prime Minister to provide a moral dimension at least in its relationship with the Saudi Kingdom to stop the crimes and hold the perpetrators accountable."

Similarly, the Campaigns Against Arms Trade (CAAT) admonished the UK's complicity for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen in licensing '£4.6 billion worth of arms to the Saudi Regime' following the conflict's opening in March 2015.

Although the Yemen blockade has been partially lifted to allow some humanitarian aid to be released, the CAAT has called for May to completely terminated the arms sales with Saudia Arab to protect the livelihoods of Yemeni civilians.

Andrew Smith, a representative from CAAT reiterated in a press release:

"Theresa May is right to raise the issue of the devastating blockade, but the best thing she can do for the people of Yemen is to end the arms sales. How many more will die before May and her colleagues finally stop putting arms company profits ahead of Yemeni lives?"

Yemen's current socio-political situation

According to Unicef's report, over 19 million people are unable to access clean water and sanitation amenities, in tandem to another 14.1 million people in dire need of basic health care access.

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Nonetheless, the most immediate concern is the impact upon Yemeni children with at 'least one child dying every 10 minutes' due to health impediments, which the spreading cholera outbreak has only exacerbated. Furthermore, the partial removal of the blockade has not been substantial enough to allow for humanitarian aid imports to be dispersed into Yemen. Access to clean water in Yemen is ordained via water pumps requiring fuel, albeit the low fuel imports into Yemen has eschewed access to clean water across multiple cities in Yemen. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) highlighted that less than 30 percent of medical supplies are entering Yemen and Robert Mardini, the director of ICRC in the Middle East confirmed the Red Cross had to make a 'stop-gap' purchase of '750 000 litres of fuel' which they are "not supposed to do" as a consequent of low fuel imports.

The petition's objectives

Subsequently, the petition calls to repudiate Mohammed bin Salman's visit in a 'stand up to human rights' intervention evoking solidarity with the regime's affected civilians in not only Yemen, but Bahrain and Saudi Arabia referencing the attack on peaceful protestors in Bahrain.

More information on the petition can be found at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/209458