It’s time to sever ties with a regime that uses a bone saw to hack up the body of a journalist and dissolve the pieces in a vat of acid. According to the CIA, Saudi’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), was responsible for the grotesque murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
It’s time to sever ties with a regime that drops bombs on Yemeni school children, on Yemeni hospitals, marketplaces, residences—even on weddings and funerals. Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen is so brutal that Yemen is now suffering the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. Since 2015 some 85,000 children under the age of five have died from acute malnutrition as a result of the war; that’s one child every 10 minutes.
It’s time to sever ties with the world’s most misogynist, gender-segregated nation. All Saudi women live under the kingdom’s oppressive male guardianship system, under which women need permission from a male to travel, study, obtain a passport, marry, and engage in other key life events. Women are separated from men in schools, restaurants and public buildings.
It’s time to sever ties with a regime that tortures women activists. Although Saudi Arabia recently granted women the right to drive (it was the only country in the world with this prohibition), the kingdom arrested a number of the very women who led the campaign for the right to drive. These brave women are now languishing in prison, subjected to horrific beatings, electroshock and sexual harassment.
It’s time to sever ties with a regime that chops off people’s heads in public executions for offenses ranging from atheism to homosexuality to sorcery. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world. It also uses long prison terms and physical punishment against everyone from bloggers to lawyers who dare question the regime’s absolute power.
War. Misogyny. Beheadings. Repression of peaceful dissent. The list goes on. We say: Enough is enough.
It’s time to boycott and divest from the Saudi regime.
- Musicians should not perform there.
- Companies should reject any business with the country.
- Institutions, such as universities and think tanks, should sever all ties.
- Politicians should not take money or direction from the Saudi lobby.
- PR firms should drop Saudi Arabia as a client.
In October 2018, along with a broad coalition, we helped convince dozens of companies and notables, from the New York Times to Uber CEO to the head of the World Bank, to pull out of the Saudi Future Investment Initiative. We then focused on the PR firms. Three of them—BRG Group, Glover Park Group and the Harbour Group—agreed to sever ties with the kingdom. In November 2018 we launched a petition and protests asking Vice Media not to produce promotional/propaganda videos for Saudi--that campaign is ongoing.
We have already had a number of successes:
Along with a broad coalition, we helped convince dozens of companies and notables, from the New York Times to Uber CEO to the head of the World Bank, to pull out of the 2018 Saudi Future Investment Initiative.
In July 2019 we had a great victory when singer Nicki Minaj canceled her performance in Saudi Arabia, citing concerns about the treatment of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression.
We have urged PR firms to stop representing the Saudi regime. Five of them— Glover Park Group, BGR Group, Harbour Group, CGCN Group and Gibson, Dunn & Crutche—have severed ties with the kingdom.
In March 2019, talent agent Endeavor returned a $400 million investment from Saudi Arabia in protest of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
We have also focused on think tanks that had received money from the Saudis for years. Some of them, such as the Brookings Institution and the Middle East Institute, have announced that they will no longer accept Saudi funding.
Our ongoing campaigns include urging entertainers not to perform, asking Vice Media to stop producing promotional/propaganda videos for the Saudis, encouraging Lush Cosmetics to close their Saudi stores, and pushing the G20 nations to reconsider their decision to hold their 2020 meeting in Saudi Arabia.
Perhaps most important has been the broad-based campaign of peace, human rights and humanitarian groups pressuring Congress to pass legislation cutting off support for the Saudi war in Yemen. This extraordinary coalition has been very successful, twice passing legislation with majorities in both the House and the Senate. Unfortunately, these were both vetoed by President Trump. But these initiatives will continue, working for a veto-proof majority in Congress, and although the legislation thus far has been vetoed, the opposition in Congress has sent a strong message to both the White House and the Saudi regime.
We are expanding our campaign, building a strong coalition of groups and celebrities.
NO ENGAGEMENT WITH SAUDI ARABIA UNTIL THEY END THEIR WAR ON YEMEN AND REPRESSION OF WOMEN, JOURNALISTS, AND PEOPLE WHO ENGAGE IN PEACEFUL DISSIDENT.