Talking with Tatchell – Archive

Saudi tyrant is not welcome

20 October 2007

Gordon Brown should not be welcoming the Saudi dictator, King Abdullah, to Britain. Peter Tatchell interviews protest organiser Owen Jones of the Socialist Youth Network and Simon Hill of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

The Saudi regime is one of the most corrupt and barbaric in the world. It is guilty of detention without trial, torture and public beheadings. Yet Britain sells arms, pays bribes and welcomes the “Killer King” to Downing Street.

Gordon Brown refuses to meet the Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. He says he wants to take a stand against tyranny. Yet Gordon Brown is willing to meet the Saudi dictator, the “Killer King” Abdullah. The oil-rich despot will be hosted by the Prime Minister at Downing Street and he will stay with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The blood-stained “Killer King” presides over a regime that is guilty of detention without trial, torture and the public beheading of unchaste women, gay people and Muslims who turn away from their faith. His government bans political parties, trade unions and suppresses not only non-Muslim religions but even Muslims who do not adhere to the Saudi state’s hardline interpretation of Islam. Women are prohibited from voting or driving and must cover themselves from head to toe. The country is a theocratic police state.

These abuses provoke not a murmur of criticism from the British and US governments. Instead, we prop up the “Killer King’s” regime; selling him arms and buying his oil.

King Abdullah should be arrested and put on trial for torture, not embraced and feted.

Protest 1:
Tuesday 30 October, 11.15am to 1pm, outside the ICA, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH, as King Abdullah passes down The Mall, en route to Buckingham Palace, at 12.30pm.
CAAT events diary

Protest 2:
Wednesday 31 October, 6pm to 8pm, Saudi Embassy, 30 Charles Street, W1J 5DZ. Socialist Youth

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