Reporters Without Borders Seeks to Remove a Banner Promoting Saudi Tourism from Paris
2019-10-31 - 5:20 p
Bahrain Mirror- AFP: Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a press freedom organization, has filed a petition with the judiciary to remove a huge banner in Paris promoting tourism in Saudi Arabia, which it called "an affront to human dignity" after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In recent weeks, the kingdom has launched a major campaign led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to boost visitor numbers, offering tourist visas for the first time and embarking on a worldwide advertising campaign.
But the campaign comes a year after the killing of journalist Khashoggi, who wrote opinion pieces critical of Prince Mohammed's policies, at his country's consulate in Istanbul. Activists blamed the killing of the crown prince, but Saudi authorities denied any role.
The huge poster in central Paris near the historic Opera House shows a picturesque island surrounded by blue water and a slogan saying "Be the first to visit ... # Welcome to Saudi Arabia".
"This is a blatant provocation that France cannot tolerate in such a symbolic period in the heart of Paris," the French-based organization said.
She said she had filed a complaint with an administrative court in Paris to force the city authorities to remove the sign.
"Saudi Arabia's promotion of itself as a holiday destination for the French people is an unacceptable affront to human dignity and therefore a public order problem that requires judicial intervention," it said.
A year after Khashoggi's brutal killing by a Saudi team sent to Istanbul, no one has been held accountable, rights groups say.
Saudi Arabia is preparing to host the G20 summit in 2020, an event that brings together the leaders of the world's 20 richest countries in the kingdom.