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Activists on two continents work to disrupt Saudi Crown Prince's face-saving tour


(CNN)Activists on two continents are trying to disrupt Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's first global tour since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate last month.
The tour -- which includes visits to Arab-allied countries and the G20 summit in Argentina -- is widely seen as an attempt by the Crown Prince to rehabilitate his image in the wake of a global fallout over the Saudi journalist's killing in Istanbul on October 2.
In Tunisia, where the Crown Prince landed Tuesday, opponents of the de facto Saudi leader have been mobilizing since last week.
    Meanwhile, in Argentina, the state prosecutor has cleared the way for a formal investigation into possible criminal charges against bin Salman.
    A giant poster hung on the façade of the office of the journalists' union depicting a shadowy bin Salman carrying a chain saw, an allusion to the reported dismemberment of Khashoggi. "No to the desecration of the land of revolutionary Tunis," read the text above the image.


    Hundreds of demonstrators took to Habib Bourguiba street -- previously the epicenter of the uprising which unseated Tunisia's longtime dictator in 2011 -- for two days of protests that included satirical theatrical performances which portrayed bin Salman as a murderous clown.

    "The demonstrations in Tunisia expressed what many of the citizens of Egypt and Algeria could not," said Egyptian lawyer and human rights activist Tarek Hussein, who attended the protests. "The presence of people on the street rejecting the visit of bin Salman is an important message to everyone that dictatorships are not welcome anywhere."
    But Noureddine ben Ticha, a political adviser to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, told CNN the prince was still welcome in Tunisia, stressing the historic bonds between the two countries.

    Prince at the G20

    At the G20, bin Salman will come face-to-face with Western leaders who have been increasingly critical of the Saudi leader since the widely publicized Khashoggi murder. The CIA concluded last week that the Crown Prince personally ordered the killing, according to a senior US official and a source familiar with the matter.
    Calls among Western countries for a ceasefire in Yemen -- where a Saudi and Emirati-led coalition is waging a three-plus-year war against Iranian-backed rebels -- have grown. Germany suspended lucrative arms deals with the kingdom last week. Denmark and Finland have followed suit.
    Yemen has been dubbed the world's worst humanitarian disaster by the United Nations. According to a joint statement this week by international aid groups, 14 million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen. The country is home to the world's worst famine in 100 years, according to the UN.
    Human Rights Watch's legal action against bin Salman is the latest blow to the prince's years-long campaign to boost the kingdom's image in a bid to attract Western investment.
    "Immunity didn't work for the architects of Argentina's dirty war, many of whom were prosecuted and served long prison sentences," Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth wrote in a tweet, referring to former officials convicted in the so-called dirty war trials in 2017. "So will the Saudi Crown Prince risk an immunity claim to show up at the G20 summit as Argentine prosecutors investigate him?"
    Source: CNN

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