United States’ dictatorial Saudi allies

This video from the USA is called US-Saudi Weapons Deal.

By Kate Randall in the USA:

US State Department human rights reports

Gulf allies: A record of repression and torture

Part 1: Saudi Arabia

20 April 2011

The US State Department recently released its “2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.” This year’s annual report provides details on human rights conditions in over 190 countries. Included are reports on the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which represents the US-backed monarchies of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

This Saudi-dominated alliance backed the imposition of a no-fly zone in Libya, and has provided key support for the attack on Libya by the United States and European powers. The GCC has also provided military and police personnel to put down insurrections against the repressive regimes in Bahrain and Yemen.

While the US seeks to cloak its imperialist assault on Libya in “humanitarian” terms, its allies in the GCC are guilty of widespread violations of human rights and practice repression and torture in their own countries. In the coming days, this WSWS series will examine these human rights abuses as documented in the State Department reports. This first installment covers Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by the Al Saud family. Since 2005, the Saudi population of about 28.5 million has been ruled by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The monarchy rules with dictatorial powers under its interpretation of Sharia (Islamic law) and the 1992 Basic Law, providing the ruling family with absolute powers. These powers are wielded against the monarchy’s political opponents, and in particular against non-citizens.

According to the US State Department’s 2010 report, the following “significant human rights problems” were reported:

“No right to change the government peacefully; torture and physical abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention; denial of fair and public trials and lack of due process in the judicial system; political prisoners; restrictions on civil liberties such as freedoms of speech (including the Internet), assembly, association, movement, and severe restrictions on religious freedom; and corruption and lack of government transparency.

“Violence against women and a lack of equal rights for women, violations of the rights of children, trafficking in persons, and discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sect, and ethnicity were common. The lack of workers’ rights, including the employment sponsorship system, remained a severe problem.”

U.S. to sell up to $60 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia: here. And here.

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