25 Mar 2013

Bypassing Saudi human rights in the name of oil and jobs

Warning: you may find some of the descriptions in this blog distressing

Charles and Camilla are safely home from Saudi Arabia and assorted Gulf states.

They were in Saudi at a somewhat bumpy moment. The royal couple never got closer than a thousand miles from the “public killing grounds”, as they are somewhat candidly described.

Had they got a lot closer, they might have seen the blood drying from the execution of seven alleged robbers.

I use the word “alleged” because the UN and various human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch’s Middle East section, have argued that the trials of the men – some of whom were juveniles – conducted under sharia law, were deeply flawed.

The suspects were charged with being part of a gang of thieves in the Saudi town of Abha. There was no evidence that any of the accused had killed or injured anyone.

Actually there may well have been rather less blood in the aftermath of the killings than usual. The death sentences were carried out, for the first time, by firing squad. The kingdom has run out of execution swordsmen, so it is no longer possible to disconnect the accused’s head from his or her body. It was a practice which led to a gushing of much blood from the severed neck.

In the same period, two of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent advocates of non violent reform – Mohammed Fahd al-Quatami and Abdullah al-Hamed – were jailed for 10  years apiece.

Charles and Camilla were not alone in bypassing human rights as a discussion point with their hosts. US Secretary of State John Kerry and America’s Attorney General Eric Holder were both in Saudi in recent days. They too decided not to raise human rights. I hate to use the phrase, but the per capita execution rate in Saudi is higher than in any other country on earth.

I have blogged before on the issue of Saudi-financed warfare. I have yet to be contradicted on the claim that there is not a British military boot in overt or covert action anywhere in the world, where the enemy is not in some way financed by Saudi interests.

Can it really be British jobs and a British thirst for oil that neutralise the reality that this just may be a state that it is perhaps unwise to retain as a ‘most favoured nation?’

Charles and Camilla were not alone in bypassing the matter.

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10 reader comments

  1. Ibn Al Arabi says:

    Keep up your brave – and almost unique – posts Jon. The truth always surfaces from the fearless, from those who refuse to be intimidated or cowed or bought. Those about whom you write obviously fall into one of those three former categories. Rare to see journalism of this high standard anywhere in the world. Many thanks.

    1. Meg Howarth says:

      Agree wholeheartedly. Keep it up, Jon. There are many who support you.

  2. Janet McEvoy says:

    What a pity and more to the point a shame that people with power that know the worlds press will publish what they say have chosen to ignore the human rights abuse in Saudi Arabia. Always its business as usual where money is concerned.

  3. Eileen Clark says:

    I agree with the commentator who compliments you on your courage. I wish there were more like you.

  4. Bob says:
  5. Joe Eldren says:

    “Can it really be British jobs and a British thirst for oil that neutralise the reality that this just may be a state that it is perhaps unwise to retain as a ‘most favoured nation?”

    Oh do please grow up. The reality is that without access to oil and its products we might as well go back to medieval life – mind you, at least there’d be no computers or internet for the TV chatterati and their apparatchiks to occupy their time with.

    1. Nikola Tesla says:

      Free energy has been available since the late 1800s. Of course, people like you have suppressed it and don´t want people to know about it. The only reason such a primitive mechanism as the combustion engine is still used in the information age is because those interests that own the oil and other power networks are opposed to free technologies, because then they would not be controlling the world anymore. If anyone needs to grow up, it´s you.

  6. Meg Howarth says:

    Right on cue: from today’s Independent – Liam Fox(Werritty) to attend Saudi-backed Bahrain summit


    and a fascinating report published yesterday which show British diplomats defending Bahrain from ‘negative criticism’ – preparation for a post-Cameron Tory rightwards move?


  7. Charles Edward Frith (@charlesfrith) says:

    Fortunately people are beginning to understand that London does business with the worst of the worst. The news is still selling the military industrial complexes wars like Syria which is mickey mouse rebellion on the road to Iranian oil.

  8. LizR says:

    Not sure how media reporting works – is it akin to price fixing?! I have often wondered about government intervention ( or lack of it) in places where terrible human atrocities happen. Why are more reporters not putting this forward?
    Bah bah I say.
    Thank You for not being another sheep.

Comments are closed.