News has broken today that Saudi Arabia has celebrated the new-year by publicly beheading 47 people.
According to the BBC the 47 people were executed for ‘terrorist’ offences, amongst them was a prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. He was a prominent and outspoken opponent of the Saudi regime who articulated the feelings of those in the country’s Shia minority who feel marginalised and discriminated against. This was a figure active on the sensitive Sunni-Shia sectarian fault line that creates tension in the Kingdom and far beyond.
Human rights group Reprieve point out that at least four of those executed were convicted of nothing more than attending protest against the regime.
One of those executed was Ali al-Ribh who was 18 when he was arrested, and sentenced to death for organizing and participating in demonstrations; vandalism; helping to organize demonstrations through the use of his BlackBerry; attending an address of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Mohammad Shioukh, 19 at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to death for a number of offences, including writing anti-Government graffiti and filming demonstrations for the purpose of documenting and publishing their content. Both were tortured while in custody.
According to the Independent several groups that monitor the death penalty worldwide said that Saudi Arabia executed at least 157 people in 2015, with beheadings reaching their highest level in two decades.
As one would expect David Cameron our morally corrupt and spineless Prime Minister refused to intervene, even in the execution of a child who was just 14-years-old at the time of his arrest.
The interview with Jon Snow above shows that Cameron floundered to answer questions about dodgy deals done behind the scenes that allowed Saudi Arabia to become the head of the UN Human Rights Council.
You couldn’t make it up, Saudi Arabia, a nation that cheerfully lops the head off people in public displays of barbarism, that denies women the right to drive a car and which routinely tortures prisoners and then chops off their limbs for minor crimes heads the UN Human Rights Council.
What Cameron won’t say is that he will allow the Saudi’s to do as they please because he wants to continue to sell military hardware to one of the most barbaric regimes on the planet. Cameron insists that the UK needs to trade with Saudi Arabia and the price of that trade is paid in blood.
I don’t know about you but I don’t think that the UK or any “civilised” society should have anything to do with this regime.
According to the Guardian Cameron eventually had to concede that he turned a blind eye to human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia because:
“We have a relationship with Saudi Arabia and if you want to know why I’ll tell you why.
“It’s because we receive from them important intelligence and security information that keeps us safe. The reason we have the relationship is our own national security.”
Strangely Cameron does’t mention the fact that the Al Queda terrorist group originates in Saudi Arabia.
Pause for a moment to reflect that had I l;lived in Saudi Arabia when I wrote this blog post I would very likely have been tortured and beheaded for doing so!