Unesco is holding its 11th Youth Forum in Paris until Tuesday, 19 November. Among the 60 participants from all over the world, a young Saudi girl is received. But a Washington NGO calls on the international organization to stop its partnership with the MiSK Foundation, which sponsors this representative.
With our correspondent in New York, Carrie Nooten
The US NGO Freedom Forward accuses UNESCO of not calling into question its 5-year framework agreement with MiSK while its secretary general, Badel Al-Asaker, has just been identified by the Washington Post as the sponsor in the case of spying Twitter accounts of opponents to the regime.
The name of Badel Al-Asaker also came back in the days following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: the Turkish secret service claimed that he had received four telephone calls from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
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Two cases, therefore, which undermine the freedom of the press or expression.
" It is very surprising that Unesco has a multi-year framework agreement with the same MiSK organization which is at the heart of so many cases. It is unclear whether Unesco will make the right decision and break its ties with this fake charity of the Saudi dictatorship, or whether they will pretend that everything is normal, "said Sunjeev Bary, director of Freedom Forward.
Since the Khashoggi affair, many suspicious organizations have severed their ties with MiSK, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, or the Virgin Group.
At UNESCO, there is talk of incomprehension in the face of such a stir, whereas no formal condemnation has been confirmed in these cases. And above all we say that the relationship is not more " dynamic " with MiSK.
However, Bader Al-Asaker was posing five weeks ago with the director general Audrey Azoulay in the Paris premises of Unesco, according to his Instagram account.