Saudi dissidents call Biden’s planned visit to kingdom a betrayal

Most galling, they said, was the notion that Biden — who vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state during his campaign and has touted his presidency’s focus on human rights — would probably meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the architect of Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on dissidents and the man the CIA said was likely to have ordered the killing of Khashoggi, in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul nearly four years ago.

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“We as Saudi activists harmed by MBS feel betrayed by Biden,” Abdullah Alaoudh, a U.S.-based researcher whose father has been imprisoned since 2017, wrote on Twitter. “Shaking hands with the same person who killed our friend #khashoggi, arrested our loved ones and tortured them, banned many of our family members from travel in order to blackmail us, and harass us here in the US?!”…

Many Saudi pro-democracy activists, including those exiled from their homeland, had invested considerable hope in Biden, whose sharp words about the kingdom appeared to signal a dramatic shift from President Donald Trump, who rarely, if ever, criticized Saudi Arabia, even after the killing of Khashoggi, a contributing columnist at The Post.

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