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France awarded top honour to Saudi prince 'at his request'

French President Francois Hollande (right) greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on March 4, 2016The awarding of France’s top honour to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, which sparked a storm of criticism, was done at the royal’s request, a French magazine reported this week. President Francois Hollande awarded the honour to Prince Mohammed, who is also Saudi interior minister, during a visit to the Gulf nation. Saudi Arabia is regularly criticised by international watchdogs for human rights violations and there was harsh criticism of Nayef’s award on social media, particularly over its use of the death penalty, with people using the hashtag “#honte” (#shame) on Twitter.

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