In a tweet, Owen Jones has called upon the Natural History Museum to cancel an event hosted by the Saudi Embassy.
According to Guardian Journalist, Owen Jones, the Saudi Embassy is to hold an event at the Natural History Museum tonight. He called upon the museum to cancel the event saying, “The Saudi dictatorship is massacring thousands in Yemen and is currently accused of kidnapping and murdering a journalist.”
Saudi Arabia is also one of the countries where being gay can still attract the death penalty for those found guilty.
It’s been leaked to me that the Natural History Museum is hosting a reception for the Saudi Embassy tonight, 7-9pm.
— Owen Jones? (@OwenJones84) October 11, 2018
The Natural History Museum, which sees 5.2 million people pass through its doors every year, is often used to host charity and gala events in its iconic building in London.
Amnesty International notes,
“Women and girls continued to face discrimination in law and practice, despite the government’s promised reforms. Women were required to have permission from a male guardian – their father, husband, brother or son – to enrol in higher education, seek employment, travel or marry. They also remained inadequately protected against sexual and other forms of violence”
“Courts continued to impose death sentences for a range of crimes, including drug offences or for conduct that under international standards should not be criminalized, such as “sorcery” and “adultery”. Many defendants were sentenced to death after unfair trials by courts that convicted them without adequately investigating allegations of coerced “confessions”, including under torture.”
Commercial events bring an “important source of external funding”
Speaking to THEGAYUK.com a spokesperson for the museum said,
“The Natural History Museum was booked by the Saudi embassy over two months ago as a venue for an external event to celebrate Saudi Arabia Day. No Museum staff are attending as guests or speaking at the event.
“Enabling commercial events to take place outside of public opening hours in our iconic spaces brings the Museum an important source of external funding, which allows us to maintain our position as a world class scientific research centre and visitor attraction. We hold a wide variety of commercial events and it is made clear to any host that doing so is not an endorsement of their product, service or views.
“We have an Ethics Policy and a Third Party Engagement Policy. These policies are publicly available on the Museum’s website.”