Saudi monarchy flogging bloggers, killing Yemeni civilians with British weapons

This 29 March 2015 video is called Saudi TV: We Will Enjoy Torturing Yemeni Women and Children.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Britain urged to end arms trade with Saudi Arabia after blogger ruling

Campaigns call for shift in policy towards biggest buyer of UK weapons after Raif Badawi’s sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison is upheld by top court

Richard Norton-Taylor

Monday 8 June 2015 14.19 BST

Campaigners have called for a radical shift in Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, the UK’s biggest arms market, after the Saudi supreme court upheld the sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison given to blogger Raif Badawi.

The previous UK coalition government approved arms sales to Saudi Arabia worth almost £4bn. British-made Tornado or Typhoon jets have been used in air strikes against Yemen and Britain is supporting a naval blockade the UN says is exacerbating the humanitarian disaster in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Saudi Arabia will potentially be an even more lucrative market for UK weapons in the light of its decision, reported last week by IHS Jane’s Aerospace, Defence & Security, to increase its defence budget by 27% over the next five years.

Speaking from Canada, Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, said she feared his punishment would start again on Friday after the ruling. Badawi received his first 50 lashes in January, but subsequent floggings have been postponed.

The blogger was arrested in 2012 for “insulting Islam through electronic channels”. For four years he ran the Liberal Saudi Network, which encouraged online debate about religious and political issues.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “The human rights situation in Saudi Arabia is dire. The fact that it is also the world’s largest buyer of UK weapons is a sign of the real hypocrisy at the heart of UK foreign policy.”

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said on Monday: “We are extremely concerned that Raif Badawi’s sentence has been upheld … We have raised his case at the most senior levels in the government of Saudi Arabia and will continue to do so.”

The UK supported the UN security council’s call for a further humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen to allow delivery of aid, she said, and was urging the Saudi-led coalition to end a blanket blockade of ships introduced to cut off the supply of arms to Yemeni rebels.

“We are not participating directly in military operations, but are providing support to the Saudi Arabian armed forces through pre-existing arrangements,” she said.

Britain is also deepening its defence relationship with Bahrain, another Gulf state widely criticised for serious human rights abuses. The outgoing UK ambassador to Bahrain, Iain Lindsay, told Gulf Daily News over the weekend that a new British naval base there was aimed at deterring regional threats and maintain security in the Gulf.

“Work on the first permanent British base in the region since 1971 is scheduled to start later in the summer,” he said.

The UN committee on torture last week asked the Bahrain government to investigate the case of Nabeel Rajab, the country’s best-known dissident who was sentenced in January to six months in prison for “publicly insulting” official institutions” on Twitter. He had posted comments suggesting the island state’s security agencies may have acted as “incubators of extremist ideologies” for Bahrainis who join Islamic State.

Britain’s close ties with Bahrain were demonstrated in a series of meetings last month. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa visited the Queen at Windsor, while Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa met David Cameron in Downing Street and the Bahraini security chief, General Tariq al-Hassan, had talks with Home Office officials.

50 thoughts on “Saudi monarchy flogging bloggers, killing Yemeni civilians with British weapons

  1. The British Establishment is the same as ISIS, except they have institutionalized their brand of terrorism, it is well known Blair who sucked up to Gaddafi and MI6 were instructed to destroy Gaddafi because he was attempting to amalgamate Africa and he was resistant to Banking such as the World Bank, Reserve bank, and IMF who would inevitable bankrupt Libya, terrorism has long been a product of Britain and party to America, Israel and other colonist countries, the problem within the British hierarchy is belligerence, arrogance, corruption, violence and power having worked well for many centuries this tried and tested formula now is no longer appropriate, the smug authoritarian stance of cowardice having the assurance and aided and abetted by a militaristic and police state is not a desirable outcome for humanity. I am suggesting this is not the world I desire to live in and I require a review of policies for this change.


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