Rights groups raised concerns over the purchase of Chelsea F.C to a Saudi investor, saying it was an attempt to “sport swash” the Gulf kingdom’s human rights record.
On March 14, 2022, media reported that a consortium led by a Saudi media group closely connected to the Saudi government had expressed interest in purchasing Chelsea Football Club.
Human rights groups expressed concerns over the Newcastle United decision, raising further concerns about the involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in facilitating human rights abuses.
The rights parities also called on the Premier League to reconsider the approval of the Newcastle United sale.
The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of combating terrorism has earlier emphasised that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is among the countries that continue to violate human rights and practice secret detention under the pretext of combating terrorism.
The Special Rapporteur, Fionnwala Ni Olin, published a report within the work of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council on global practices related to secret detention, to follow up on the recommendations of a study that was presented in 2010 on combating terrorism and human rights.
The report sheds light on the abject failure to implement the recommendations of that study and its tragic and profound consequences for individuals who have been systematically subjected to torture, cross-border rendition, arbitrary detention and deprivation of their most basic rights.
The report indicated that more than two decades of impunity followed the events that led to the study. The Rapporteur also emphasised that the failure to implement the 2010 recommendations made by the Special Procedures has enabled and facilitated ongoing human rights violations in the name of combating terrorism around the world.
The report documented the use of secret detention by Saudi Arabia, and other countries, and justified this in the discourse of combating terrorism at the national and regional levels and indicated that the special procedures and special rapporteurs are following up with the Saudi government many of these issues, which it justifies under the pretext of national security.