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.’”