End The Death Penalty In the news

Newcastle United’s success comes at a heavy price

Facing Manchester United in the Carabao Cup is a big moment for the club and the city and is a mark of Newcastle’s recent success. But these achievements are tainted because it is built with money from a bloodthirsty Saudi Arabian regime, which has executed over 1,000 people in the last eight years.

Since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund bought Newcastle United in October 2021, 157 people, including some children, have been put to death. These executions are overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is also the Chair of the PIF. Dozens more have been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned for exercising freedom of speech on social media. 

When asked about the ownership of his club, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has said he wants to stick to talking about football and that he ‘doesn’t feel qualified’ to discuss human rights. ‘I’ve definitely read up on the subjects I’m being asked about,’ he added.

Reprieve’s latest report on capital punishment in Saudi Arabia, which was released last month, was widely reported in British media: print, radio, TV and online. Perhaps Howe has read it? It shows that the six bloodiest years of executions in Saudi Arabia’s modern history have all been under the leadership of Mohammed bin Salman and his father, King Salman and that the rate of executions has almost doubled since they came to power. Read more from our Director Maya Foa in The Spectator.