'Go away assassin': Protests, urging justice over Jamal Khashoggi murder, dominate Saudi Crown Prince's visit to Tunisia

Tunis: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday after hundreds of protesters there rallied against his visit, urging justice over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The arrival of Saudi Arabia's de facto leader was announced by the Tunisian presidency, hours after demonstrators gathered in the capital Tunis. "Go away assassin!" protesters shouted in the second rally in as many days against the Saudi crown prince.

File image of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. AP

File image of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. AP

Demonstrators held placards with slogans including "The people want Bin Salman to be judged", "No to the killer of Yemeni children" and "You're not welcome". Prince Mohammed's stay in Tunisia is part of a regional tour, which comes as Khashoggi's murder leads to increased scrutiny of Saudi Arabia's role in Yemen's devastating war.

"It's inhuman to see an Arab leader killing his brothers in Yemen, and the murder of a journalist is the icing on the cake," said Basma Rezgui, a teacher brandishing a red-stained saw. Saudi Arabia has faced intense global criticism over the killing of insider-turned-critic Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate on 2 October.

He was reportedly dismembered in what Saudi Arabia said was a "rogue" operation, but CIA analysis leaked to the US media pointed the finger at Prince Mohammed. The crown prince's visit is the first by a Saudi royal to Tunisia since the 2011 revolution deposed longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia.

Political analyst Youssef Cherif said the protests against Prince Mohammed were a sign that post-revolution Tunisia "is one of the rare Arab countries where one can take such a stand". The Saudi crown prince has also held talks in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on his first foreign tour since the Khashoggi affair erupted.

In Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the "unshakable strategic alliance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia" during Prince Mohammed's visit there, the state daily Al-Ahram reported on Tuesday. "The stability and security of Saudi Arabia is an integral part of Egypt's security," Sisi was quoted as saying.

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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2018 09:21:41 IST

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