Tiger Woods has been urged to follow Lewis Hamilton and speak out about Saudi Arabia human rights abuses by the brother of an executed activist.
The American superstar turned down a “mind-blowingly enormous” offer from Greg Norman to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
The 15-time Major winner slammed the breakaway league at the Open for golfing reasons and claimed rebels had “turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position”.
But Saudi citizen Yasser al-Khayat – whose brother was executed in March – has now written to Woods before the climax of the LIV Golf season in Miami today to ask him to condemn the Saudi regime.
Hamilton called for the Kingdom to improve human rights before the Saudi Grand Prix in March.
And Yasser al-Khayat wrote to Woods: “You said you oppose the tour out of loyalty to the PGA Tour and respect for golf’s history. I hope to persuade you to speak out against it as a matter of principle, by taking a stand against sportswashing.
“My brother, Mustafa, was executed by the Saudi Arabian authorities for daring to ask for basic human rights that you enjoy in the USA. He was one of the 81 men killed in the largest mass execution in the country’s history earlier this year.
“When Lewis Hamilton spoke up for the victims of Mohammed bin Salman’s repressive regime at this year’s Formula One race in Jeddah, he earned the enduring respect of every Saudi family that has been punished for wanting our people to live in a free country. I ask you to raise your voice, in my brother’s name. Please do not let what happened to him be forgotten.”
Mustafa al-Khayat was executed in March
Jeed Basyouni, who leads the Middle East and North Africa team at human right charity Reprieve, said: “When LIV golfers competed in Saudi Arabia recently, organisers made sure they didn’t have to answer any difficult questions.
“And when the winner gets $4 million and the last place finishers receive $120,000 just for turning up it’s easy to understand why nobody wants to rock the boat by mentioning human rights.
“But the fact is, however hard they try to convince the world otherwise, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still a place where children, non-violent drug offenders and people exercising their right to free speech are sentenced to death.
“And each sporting event that projects the false image the Saudi authorities want the world to see, with no questions asked, makes the next mass execution more likely.”