Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Supping with the House of Saud

This week Prince Charles, David Cameron and President Obama are all visited Saudi Arabia to show their respects to the Saudi Royal Family following the death, by natural causes last week, of King Abdullah, at the age of 90.

Also last week, a Burmese immigrant woman, Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, died in Saudi Arabia, beheaded by an executioner on a public street in the Muslim holy city of Mecca . Her gruesome death was filmed and leaked, and  has been posted on line by the respected US news organization, CNN. (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/21/middleeast/saudi-beheading-video/) The desert kingdom  executed 87 people in 2014, most by beheading.
On 23 January 2015 Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns told Lib Dem peer Lord AveburyCurrently there are no sanctions in place for Saudi Arabia”  for legislation providing for sentences of cruel and unusual punishments adding “and we have not considered imposing them on Saudi Arabia.”Nine days earlier, on 14 January, Labour MPs Roger Godsiff was told by Business minister Matthew Hancock, in response to his question asking  what steps the Government  takes to ensure that equipment for which arms export licences to Saudi Arabia have been granted is not used for internal repression “Exports to Saudi Arabia continue to be subject to close scrutiny, in particular under Criterion Two which concerns the ‘respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law’.

 A few months earlier. 6 November  last year, in a written answer, Baroness  Anelay told The Bishop of CoventryThe death penalty undermines human dignity and its abolition is a human rights priority for the UK. Government Ministers, our Ambassador in Riyadh and officials from our Embassy raise the issue of the death penalty with the Saudi authorities, both bilaterally and through the EU. We recognise that total abolition of the death penalty is unlikely in Saudi Arabia in the near future.  Our focus is therefore on the introduction of EU minimum standards for the death penalty as a first step. “

 So the barbarism of beheading can continue, as long as the medieval Saudi royal family implement it  applying "EU minimum standards”, whatever they may be. Unbelievable

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