Saudi Arabia is a brutal, fanatical, fundamentalist religious tyranny where torture and execution are the norm and women are treated as chattel. It is about to behead and crucify a young man for being linked to a dissident group and is currently engaged in an indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia is a major funder of terrorism and violence in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabian sources funded Al-Qaida.
All but one of the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi Arabian.
Saudi Arabia has directly interfered in our judicial system by insisting, successfully, that an investigation into BAe – Saudi corruption be quashed.
And yet UK governments, both past and present, have supported this regime, selling it military hardware (£1.6bn in 2014) and providing a cloak of respectability.
In 2014 the then justice sectary, Chris Grayling, signed a £5.9m commercial agreement with the Saudis in which we will sell our ‘prison and probation expertise’ to the Saudi prison service. Yes, the same prison service that has already executed more than 150 people this year. One of the victims was ‘guilty’ of ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe.
Our government has refused to back out of this shameful deal. It has even removed all reference to its previous policy of being “opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle”. Yet another example of putting commercial interests above all else?
Now we find out that David Cameron has entered into a secret deal with the Saudis to procure them a place on the UN human rights council. This is a travesty and can only be described as Cameron putting two fingers up to human rights and the long and honourable record of the UK in developing and promoting human rights around the world. It’s no surprise that the Tories want to scrap our own Human Rights Act.
(UPDATE (2nd Oct): It seems that our government has also done a secret deal with the Saudi police force – see link below)
How long before Saudi Arabia is another middle eastern failed state collapsing into chaos and embroiling us in yet another humanitarian disaster.
The Tories tell us that security interests necessitate our support for Saudi Arabia. That story appears increasingly implausible.
The government’s previously hard-line stance on migrants and refugees suddenly did a U turn when the public were shocked into action by the photo of the little boy washed up on a beach. David Cameron then suddenly ‘remembered’ that we were contributing significant sums of money to help fund refugee camps. This contribution is commendable but it is also shameful that the amount of aid we give is less than the value of our arms sales to Saudi Arabia alone. Those arms sales are currently laying the seeds for the next refugee crisis.
UK and Saudi Arabia ‘in secret deal’ over human rights council place: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/29/uk-and-saudi-arabia-in-secret-deal-over-human-rights-council-place?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
The Human Cost of Saudi Arabia’s Air War in Yemen, in Photos: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/09/yemen-saudi-arabia-bombing-war-civilians
George Osborne praised by China for ignoring human rights: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/11890958/George-Osborne-praised-by-China-for-ignoring-human-rights.html
Is Chris Grayling happy to do business with a prison service that flogs, stones and beheads its inmates? http://www.reasonandreality.org/?p=3911
The story of the unfortunate MoJ and Saudi commercial proposal: http://jackofkent.com/tag/chris-grayling/
Salisbury Amnesty International – What is the Foreign Office’s policy on human rights? http://salisburyai.com/2015/10/01/what-is-the-foreign-offices-policy-on-human-rights/
Britain Backtracks on Justice for #Yemen: https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/10/01/dispatches-britain-backtracks-justice-yemen …
UPDATE (2nd Oct): It seems that our government has also done a secret deal with the Saudi police force: