“How Saudi Arabia is using G20 talks to hide its terrible record on women’s rights,” The New Arab, May 7, 2020.
“‘Saudi Arabia’s PR army has worked hard to silence any serious talk about women’s rights and human rights at the G20,’ Sunjeev Bery, director of the anti-autocrat campaign group Freedom Forward, told TNA.
‘This is all about the Saudi monarchy parading itself under the global spotlight and dodging questions over its abysmal record on basic freedoms.’
Bethany Alhaidari, a women’s rights campaigner at Freedom Forward, described Saudi as one of the ‘world’s worst places to be a woman’ and blasted the W20’s ‘silence on women’s human rights’ in the conservative petro-monarchy.
‘Peaceful women’s rights activists and some of Saudi Arabia’s greatest heroes and reformers are sitting and literally dying in prison,’ Alhaidari told TNA.
‘To go there for the G20 and engage with this government like everything is normal is ridiculous.'”
“‘A cessation of hostilities in Yemen can only be a first step,’ the Thursday letter from fifty-nine organizations said. ‘Yemenis need a durable ceasefire, a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement to the current conflict, unencumbered access to humanitarian aid and commercial imports, and accountability for the violations all sides have committed during this war.’
Freedom Forward, a group that works to end U.S. alliances with undemocratic governments, signed the letter, as did its sponsor, the progressive Center for International Policy.”
“Sunjeev Bery, the executive director of Freedom Forward, an anti-autocrat campaign group, said the young Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, was a ‘terrible host’ for tackling the pandemic.
‘The Saudi ruler is an extraordinarily reckless individual who risks making the global coronavirus pandemic even worse,’ Bery told The New Arab.
‘He has already destroyed Yemen’s ability to withstand the coronavirus through his endless bombardment and blockades. Now, he is adding to the instability of the global economy by launching an oil price war with Russia.'”
“While the world absolutely needs much better international coordination in response to this catastrophic pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family is one of the last governments we should want convening a conversation on solving any humanitarian crisis, let alone a crisis of this magnitude.”
“Democratic leaders have made a terrible trade. In return for clean headlines on impeachment, congressional Democrats gave Donald Trump his full wish list for war … While House Democrats declared Trump ‘a threat to national security’ in articles of impeachment, they gave Trump most of what he wanted on the big questions of war.”
“Sunjeev Bery, director of the anti-autocrat campaign group Freedom Forward, said that despite the headlines from Pensacola, lawmakers from both parties were pushing ahead with a defence spending bill that permitted ongoing arms sales for Saudi to use in Yemen.
‘While many people across the US deeply dislike the Saudi dictatorship, US politicians in Washington DC continue to back this brutal government,’ Bery told The New Arab.
‘It’s an extreme example of how defence lobbyists, military planners, and feckless politicians ignore the perspectives of the American people when it comes to US alliances with dictators.'”
“MISK is a propaganda platform for the Saudi dictatorship. It is linked to spying on Twitter accounts of opponents of the Saudi regime and to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This is not merely a foundation, and UN institutions should not collaborate with it.” — Sunjeev Bery of Freedom Forward, as translated from French article.
“‘This is an important moment for us.’ Bery is with Freedom Forward, the group that started the petition that led to the cancellation of the event at the New York Public Library. ‘Even though the Saudi dictatorship still technically had an event in New York, it was an event that was a far cry from what they intended. Multiple speakers dropped out, and they were even dropped by the United Nationas itself.'”
“‘Step by step, we are going to shut down the Saudi dictatorship’s propaganda machine in the US,’ said Sunjeev Bery, director of the anti-autocrat campaign group Freedom Forward, who organised the petition.
‘No public institution or private business should be helping the Saudi dictatorship in any way with its efforts to wash away its crimes in Yemen, its imprisonment of activists, and its murder of Jamal Khashoggi,’ he told Al Jazeera.”
“The NYPL should never have agreed to host the Saudi dictator’s fake charity to begin with, and certainly not while the Saudi monarchy is slaughtering thousands in Yemen,” Sunjeev Bery, executive director of Freedom Forward, a human rights group, told Gothamist.
“But it is good news that they are finally backing away from this dumpster fire of an event,” he added. “Libraries should never play host to bloody dictators and their propaganda.”
“‘It’s no coincidence that the Saudi monarchy is pulling this PR stunt while Congress is on the verge of passing legislation that would cut off US arms sales for Saudi Arabia’s bloody war in Yemen,’ said Sunjeev Bery, executive director of Freedom Forward, a human rights organizationthat started an online petition calling on UN and business leaders to drop out of the forum. ‘When a dictator identifies and affiliates themselves with an American library, they are taking one step toward obscuring the fundamental nature of their tyranny.'”
“Sunjeev Bery, director of Freedom Forward, which launched the petition, said bin Salman should be blackballed over Khashoggi’s killing, Saudi-led military operations in Yemen’s civil war and other human rights abuses.
‘The trustees of the New York Public Library should not allow a brutal Saudi dictator to use their space for a propaganda event. Thousands of people are now demanding that this bogus Saudi event be canceled,’ Bery told IPS.
“Many Saudi citizens are imprisoned or executed for saying the very things that are written in thousands of New York Public Library books. How can the NYPL trustees possibly justify allowing a Saudi dictator to use their space?”
Journalist James Reinl questioned Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, regarding Freedom Forward’s campaign to stop a New York event by Saudi Arabia’s ruling crown prince Mohammad bin Salman and his private foundation. Starts at minute 7:30.
“On Tuesday, Freedom Forward, a group that campaigns against authoritarian governments, launched an online petition that blasted the UN and the speakers for cooperating with MBS’s foundation. By Tuesday afternoon, the petition had garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
‘No one should partner with Saudi Arabia’s brutal dictator while he slaughters children in Yemen,’ the petition says. ‘VIPs and UN officials must drop out of the Saudi dictatorship’s so-called youth event in New York on 9/23.'”
“On Tuesday, Sunjeev Bery, director of Freedom Forward, became the latest leader of a campaign group to press the U.N. to cancel the Sept. 23 event, saying it would help repair bin Salman’s reputation over the Khashoggi murder…
‘No one — especially not the U.N. — should be partnering with MBS or his personal Misk Foundation,’ Bery told IPS … ‘The crown prince and his violent government must be held accountable for their human rights crimes,’ said Bery, who advocates for the U.S. to cut ties with Saudi Arabia and other authoritarian regimes.
‘Instead, misguided U.N. staff are absurdly giving the crown prince a public relations platform as he attempts to wipe away the blood of so many dead Yemeni children.'”
“Jeffrey Smith, founding director of Vanguard Africa, and executive director of Freedom Forward Sunjeev Bery also applauded Minaj …”
“Sunjeev Bery, director of Freedom Forward, which campaigns for Washington to cut ties with foreign autocrats, said the rabbi ‘risks being used by a brutal monarchy that is perfectly willing to work with’ terrorists in its Yemen campaign.
‘The UAE is likely using the strategy of faith-washing to hide its human rights atrocities behind a wall of interfaith public relations,’ Bery told TRT World. ‘The question is whether or not Rabbi Sarna’s vision of faith and religion embraces human rights or remains silent in the face of the UAE’s brutality.'”
“Sunjeev Bery, director of Freedom Forward, which campaigns for Washington to cut ties with foreign autocrats, said the deepening tensions were a wake-up call for Washington about how to pick friends in the Gulf.
‘Another US war in the Middle East would be catastrophic for the region and the Trump administration needs to put a leash on National Security Adviser John Bolton, the biggest advocate for a conflict that no smart policymaker wants,’ Bery told Al Jazeera.
‘Instead of hyperventilating about Iran, the US should cut ties with allies like Saudi and UAE, which fuel instability across the region with a bloody war in Yemen and support for military thugs in Libya and Sudan.'”
“Sunjeev Bery, director of Freedom Forward, which campaigns for Washington to cut ties with foreign autocrats, said the event was the latest example of prominent Gulf envoys sharing a stage in the US with pro-Israel stalwarts.
‘There’s a deepening alliance between the repressive monarchies of the Middle East and a repressive Israeli government, which essentially functions as a military dictatorship as far as Palestinians are concerned,’ Bery told TRT World.
‘This drawing closer of the brutal monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration is bad news for anybody who’s concerned about communities in the Middle East being able to chart their own democratic paths forward.’”