Mohammed bin Salman

A Saudi prince is visiting the UK this week

Protests are already planned over human rights abuses and the arms trade

The Saudi Crown Prince is coming to the UK for a three day visit. Protests are planned against his human rights record and against the UK's arms trade with Saudi Arabia.

What it means:  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been credited with 'opening up' the country's economy. It wants to attract foreign investors to reduce its complete dependence on the oil industry. Part of that 'opening up' has involved introducing new taxes, and lifting a really controversial ban on women driving, in an attempt to prove how modern it is.

The UK is looking at this new Saudi Arabia as an important ally, the UK has sold it billions of pounds worth of arms, and Theresa May is trying to build new trading relationships. There's a problem though, human rights campaigners say the PM should take a harder line on the country's human rights record, and want to draw attention to its ongoing involvement in a deadly conflict in Yemen.

It's all about how high up the list of priorities a country puts its own values. If people are really concerned about the actions of a particular state, economic sanctions can be imposed to stop that state trading. In this case, despite promising she'll have a stern word, Theresa May is convinced enough that the Saudi prince is reforming things in his own country, and has decided the relationship is too important to pass up on. Not everyone agrees.

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