Joining the exodus of high-profile attendees from a prestigious investment conference in Saudi Arabia, Maxim Gerbut, founder and CEO of a Ukrainian startup PassivDom, has also decided to pull out of the event in protest at the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “Rory Jones from the Wall Street Journal and I talked about the murdered Saudi journalist, the war in Ukraine, Oleg Sentsov, and everything that people usually turn a blind eye to while doing business with countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia.”
Gerbut’s startup PassivDom builds innovative houses that save energy, and for him, Gerbut wrote, standing up against the oppression of free speech and human rights was just as important as fighting for a better environment.
U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared over two weeks ago after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. While Turkish authorities have leaked some ghastly details about his murder, Saudi officials initially denied any involvement. According to the Washington Post, 11 out 15 suspects named by Turkey have ties to the Saudi security services.