A Sun report monitors grave violations against workers in the Saudi city of NEOM

The Sun published a report that monitors grave violations against construction workers in the Saudi city of NEOM, which falls within the 2030 vision promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The report said that thousands of workers in the city of NEOM work and live in deplorable humanitarian conditions, so human rights activists are calling on Western firms to boycott work in NEOM because of the human rights record in the Kingdom.

The report stated that the ambitious city is being built by thousands of workers who live in cramped conditions, with six of them sharing a small room when sleeping.

Human rights activists have called on Western companies to boycott this development due to the Kingdom’s human rights record, particularly since the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Washington Post in Istanbul.

Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi embassy in the Turkish city before his body was dismembered in a crime condemned by world leaders.

NEOM’s development also led to the forcible removal of local tribes from the area, according to reports.

“It’s absolutely a disaster and I’m disappointed,” said Alya Alhwaiti, a member of the Huwaitat tribe that is being displaced by the project.

Her cousin, Abdulrahim al- Huwaiti, was killed while battling attempts to demolish his home last year. She now lives in the UK and accused western firms that have joined the project of “not caring about human rights”.

A senior Saudi official said Saudi Arabia has not ruled out allowing alcohol in the city in what would be a historic chance for the ultra-conservative Islamic state.

Unlike other Gulf countries where foreign workers do not legally obtain alcohol, there is still a blanket ban in the Kingdom, which hosts Islam’s holiest sites.

However, NEOM is part of Salman’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify the Saudi oil-dependent economy.

The project is funded by the Crown Prince Investment Fund with a value of $500 billion.

The city will operate under its own incorporation law, which is still being drafted.

Joseph Bradley, CEO of technology and digital holding NEOM, could not confirm whether alcohol would be allowed under the new law, but said “everyone understands” the need to attract foreign talent and tourists.

“To be clear, NEOM is meant to be competitive. We want the best and brightest in the world to come to NEOM.”

“Understand that we intend to attract the most diverse and talented workforce, and we are doing everything we can and will do to attract that workforce,” he added.

He said the board should approve the founding act of directors within one to two years.

“I haven’t seen the details of the law concerning (alcohol), but I can tell you very, very clearly that everybody understands that we’re going to build a statute that attracts the tourism market, attracts the technology market, attracts the manufacturing market,” Bradley said.

Among his reforms since becoming crown prince in 2017, Mohammed bin Salman has lifted the ban on women driving and curbed the powers of the religious police.

But the reforms were accompanied by a crackdown on critics of his rule, including women activists.

Observers assert that legalizing alcohol would break a major taboo in a country known as Wahhabism, a strict form of Islam.

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