Image source: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have been criticised for agreeing on Saudi Arabia. The two British superstars are believed to be on the verge of finalising a deal. However, the British heavyweights could face off in the Middle East in August.
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said: “It comes as no surprise that Saudi Arabia is once again set to use a major sporting event as a means to sports was its atrocious human rights record.
“By staging this high-profile fight, Saudi Arabia is yet again trying to shift the media spotlight away from its jailing of peaceful activists like Loujain al-Hathloul, its grisly state-sanctioned murder of Jamal Khashoggi and its indiscriminate bombing of civilians in neighbouring Yemen.
“Simply put – Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman wants people around the world to be talking about sport in Saudi Arabia, not the dissidents being locking up after sham trials or the people being tortured in Saudi jails.
“When he fought in Saudi Arabia in 2019 it was disappointing that Anthony Joshua ducked the issue of human rights, and this time we hope he and his opponent can speak out in the build-up to the fight.
“A few well-chosen words about human rights from Joshua and Fury would mean a lot to Saudi Arabia’s beleaguered human rights defenders, helping to counteract the intended sports washing effect of this boxing match.”