Saudi Arabian dictatorship’s British allies

This video is called Saudi Human Rights Violations Pt 1.

And here is Part 2.

Prince Charles in Saudi Arabia, photo Chris Jackson/Getty Images

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Royals slammed for Saudi support

Friday 15 March 2013

Anti-arms campaigners have condemned Charles and Camilla Windsor for sending an open message of support to the brutal Saudi Arabian regime.

The royals arrived in the kingdom today as part of a wider Middle East tour.

The visit comes almost exactly two years after the Saudi Arabian National Guard sent British-made armoured personnel vehicles into Bahrain to support the suppression of protests there.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (Caat) pointed out that one of the key listed themes of the visit was “military links between the Saudi and UK Armed Forces.”

The group said that it suspected that the visit has been added to the prince’s Middle East itinerary in an attempt to persuade the Saudi regime to finalise a contract for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

Prime Minister David Cameron failed to secure the deal during a trip in November. Caat suggested that the British government may believe that the Saudis will be more impressed with a royal.

Caat spokeswoman Kaye Stearman said: “The BAE Eurofighter deal is still under discussion, the Serious Fraud Office is investigating a second Saudi arms deal, and a parliamentary committee is undertaking a review of UK-Saudi relations.

“Added to this is the steady stream of news about human rights abuses and reports of unrest in Saudi Arabia. No wonder the Saudi rulers are feeling concerned – even insecure.

“The visit of Prince Charles is meant to reassure them that they still have the support of the UK government and that they should sign the Eurofighter Typhoon deal.”

Over the past five years Britain has licensed almost £4 billion worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia.

5 thoughts on “Saudi Arabian dictatorship’s British allies

  1. Saudi prosecutor demands death penalty for Shi’ite cleric

    Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:24am EDT

    RIYADH (Reuters) – A Saudi Arabian prosecutor has demanded the death penalty for a Shi’ite Muslim cleric whose arrest last summer led to deadly protests in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, local media reported on Wednesday.

    Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, long seen as a radical leader in the Shi’ite minority, appeared in court on Monday for the first time since his arrest in July, the Saudi Gazette reported.

    The prosecutor, accusing him of “aiding terrorists” and instigating unrest, said he was guilty of “waging war on God”, a crime in sharia, or Islamic law, that automatically carries the death penalty, al-Riyadh daily reported.

    Saudi Arabia has no written legal code and judges have wide discretion to deliver verdicts based on their interpretation of sharia and without reference to precedent.

    Tension is already running high over this month’s arrest of 16 Shi’ites accused of spying for Riyadh’s regional rival Iran. Tehran has denied spying in the kingdom and Shi’ite community leaders have said they do not believe the charges.

    Police and protesters have clashed repeatedly in the past two years in the Eastern Province’s mostly Shi’ite Qatif area where 16 demonstrators and a security officer have been killed.

    The government has attributed all the deaths to exchanges of fire with rioters. Shi’ite activists say police shot the 16 during peaceful demonstrations or during attempted arrests.

    Nimr was based in al-Awamiyah, a neighborhood in Qatif that has been a hotbed of unrest. When he was arrested in July the authorities said he had rammed a police car and possessed weapons. Local Shi’ite activists denied both accusations.

    Three demonstrators were killed during protests in the days immediately after Nimr’s arrest.

    Early last year the Interior Ministry issued a list of 23 people wanted over the unrest in Qatif, saying they were acting on behalf of an unnamed foreign power, widely seen as Iran.

    Nimr was accused of meeting some of these people while they were on the run.

    He was also accused of interfering in the internal affairs of Bahrain, separated from Eastern Province by a 25 km (16 mile) causeway, where majority Shi’ites have led protests demanding the Sunni ruling family introduce democracy.

    Saudi Shi’ites have long complained of persistent discrimination in the kingdom, where the majority follow the rigid Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam that sees Shi’ism as heretical. The authorities deny charges of discrimination.

    Last week 37 Saudi Shi’ite leaders signed a statement accusing the government of using the spy ring allegation to stir sectarian tensions and distract Sunnis from demands for reform.

    This month a Sunni cleric urged the government to free suspected Islamist militants and improve public services or risk street protests. Saudi Arabia has escaped the popular uprisings that have swept some other Arab states in the past two years.

    (Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

    © Thomson Reuters 2013 All rights reserved.


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