Report: Saudi Forces 'Told to Kill' to Clear Land for Eco-City

    Report: Saudi Forces 'Told to Kill' to Clear Land for Eco-City
    Image copyright: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • According to the BBC, citing a British-based former Saudi intelligence officer, authorities in Saudi Arabia have authorized the use of lethal force to clear land for a flagship eco-city that is part of its $500B Neom project.

    • Col. Rabih Alenezi said that officers have been directed to kill anyone who resists eviction from land sanctioned for The Line in a region whose inhabitants have reportedly experienced mass arrests for not complying with such orders.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Saudi Arabia has no regard for human rights. Using lethal force against peaceful protesters is not only a grossly disproportionate response, it violates the villagers' human rights to life and property. The Crown Prince obviously cares more about his kingdom's economic interests and his image than he does about human lives or the well-being of his country's residents.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The area that Neom is being built on is largely uninhabited, making it the perfect blank canvas for a project of this scale. Though some villagers will need to be relocated, they are being compensated for the inconvenience. This innovative project will be a groundbreaking site to test solutions to some of the biggest issues humanity faces, providing not only a large amount of environmental sustainability but also a high quality of life for future residents.

    Metaculus Prediction

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