Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Protest In Tunisia As Saudi Crown Prince Visits
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the heir to the throne of the world’s top oil exporter, left Cairo on Tuesday and was expected in Tunis in late afternoon on a tour that has also taken him to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the crown prince, at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul six weeks ago has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West and battered Prince Mohammed’s image abroad.
Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder. After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh said last month that Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
Hundreds of protesters marched through the central Habib Bourguiba avenue in Tunis, scene of the mass protests that toppled Ben Ali in 2011.
They chanted “the murderer is not welcome in Tunisia” and “Shame on Tunisia’s rulers” for receiving bin Salman.
Protesters also called for an end to the Saudi-led military campaign in neighboring Yemen, which was launched by Prince Mohammed in his role as defense minister in 2015.
Journalists put up a huge banner at their union showing the prince with a saw, which Turkish sources have said was used to dismember Khashoggi in Istanbul. It read: “No to the pollution of the Tunisian revolution.”
Dozens of Tunisian rights activists and journalists staged a similar protest on Monday.
In an apparent attempt to avoid embarrassing the prince, the presidency only invited photographers to cover his visit. It will not hold a news conference, a usual event at top visits.