Amnesty International picketed the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Madrid on Wednesday, criticising its human rights record on the eve of the Spanish Super Cup, due to be hosted in the Kingdom.
Eleven activists, representing a footballing starting XI, formed two lines, one kneeling and one standing, much like the traditional pre-match team photo.
They also wore T-shirts calling for Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hatloul to be freed.
Hatloul and ten others were arrested in May 2018 on the charge of attempting to destabilise the kingdom, after repeatedly defying the ban on women driving. She has since spent over 600 days in prison.
The embassy refused to accept a letter from Amnesty International Spain Deputy Director Eva Suarez.
“Not a single sporting event will hide, shall not hide, the severe violation of human rights committed in that country,” Suarez said in a statement to the press.
Amnesty has been campaigning against the hosting of the Spanish Super Cup in Jeddah. The government did not support the decision, while several broadcasters also refused to bid for the event.
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