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Liz Truss accused of ‘lying’ to parliament about meeting with Gulf autocrats

Liz Truss has been accused of “lying” to a parliamentary committee about what was said during a meeting with the leaders of autocratic Gulf states.

The prime minister, who was previously the foreign secretary, had told the foreign affairs committee that she used the meeting to raise human rights issues with the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other countries. But the Foreign Office (FCDO) has repeatedly refused to give any specifics, or even say which countries or issues Ms Truss asked about.

Soraya Bauwens, deputy director of Reprieve, which campaigns against the death penalty, torture, and detention without charge said it “defies belief that Liz Truss could meet with leaders of some of the most repressive regimes in the world without raising their horrific human rights abuses”.

“Child defendants in Saudi Arabia continue to face the death penalty. Both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are crushing dissent by torturing and executing pro-democracy protesters and punishing people for their tweets or for the ‘crime’ of owning books,” she said.

“The Foreign Office must come clean with the public about whether the now Prime Minister misled a Parliamentary Committee about her apparent abject failure to hold these governments accountable for their atrocities, especially as the UK Government recently more than doubled its funding to state bodies in these countries.” Read the full story in The Independent.