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1/4/16

EU relationship with Saudi Arabia - 7 reasons the EU shouldn't be allies with Saudi Arabia & 1 reason why it still is

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia continues to be one of  Europe's key international allies with ministers, Heads of State and even Royal families making every effort to keep the hard-line Middle East kingdom on Europe's side.

But while Europe has no problems with the US forcing them to impose tough sanctions on countries like Russia for their war with Ukraine, the EU often falls deadly silent amid claims of human rights abuses and war crimes by Saudi Arabia.

This attitude is remarkable for the EU, which claims to cherish human rights and always stands ready to protect it by all means possible. This while the Saudi royal family regularly face accusations of overseeing a brutal regime where political opponents are executed, all criticism is censored and women are second-class citizens.

A kingdom which has also faced claims it is the breeding ground of Islamist terror groups across the world.

Here are seven reasons why the EU shouldn't be friends with Saudi - and one multi-billion EURO reason why it still is…

Crime and Punishment : Documents show ISIS & Saudi Arabia prescribe near-identical punishments for crimes.


Death Penalty: A recent report by human rights charity Reprieve found 171 people are currently facing execution in Saudi Arabia.

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of these were sentenced to death for non-violent offences, including the attendance of political protests.

Those found protesting against the kingdom's rulers are convicted of 'corrupting the Earth' - a charge which carries the death penalty.

Censorship:  The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights branded the public flooding a "cruel and inhuman punishment… prohibited under international human rights law".

Amnesty International has accused Saudi's hardline rulers of systematically wiping out almost all human rights activism in the country over the past few years, much of it under the disguise of 'counter-terror' laws.

Peaceful activists from one leading group are are said to have been rounded up, beaten and given long prison sentences in an effort to “wipe out all trace” of the organization.

It followed fears among the Saudi royal family that the 2011 'Arab Spring' uprisings could inspire a similar revolt against themselves.

Treatment of women : Apart from considering women inferior to men Saudi Arabia  is the only country in the world that bans women from driving.

War CrimesSince civil war broke out in Yemen this year, a Saudi-led coalition has carried out airstrikes against Houthi rebels who overthrew the country's government.

Riyadh has frequently been accused of war crimes with hospitals, schools, markets, aid warehouses, charity offices and refugee camps all said to have been targeted by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.
 
By September more than 2,200 civilian deaths had been registered.

One report by Amnesty International documented the use of internationally-banned cluster bombs while the body of a one-year-old baby was found in wreckage with his dummy still in his mouth.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) is currently considering legal action against the Government unless it stops allowing British-produced arms being sent to Saudi amid concerns of war crimes in Yemen.
 
Is Saudi Arabia inspiring fanatical extremism?: Since the 9/11 terror attacks in New York in 2001 - when 15 of the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers were found to be Saudi nationals - the kingdom has faced regular claims it is helping to breed Islamic extremism and terror groups across the world.
 
The fanatical 'Wahhabi' strain of Islam, which is centred in Saudi Arabia, is now said to be closest ideology to that of ISIS - with some claiming the views espoused by Saudi's Wahhabist clerics inspired the growth of the terror group.

Saudi has also faced accusations it has tried to export puritanical Wahhabism abroad over the last three decades, at a cost of  100B
 
The cash is spent on building mosques or establishing madrassas - religious schools - in other Muslim nations such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and parts of Africa.

Are the Saudi's Funding ISIS ? : Saudi Arabia has strongly denied it has provided funding to ISIS, with officials pointing to new laws it has brought in to prevent money from the kingdom going to jihadist groups.

But their denials still haven't stopped accusations from some British politicians of a link between the financing of ISIS and Saudi Arabia.

Last month former British Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown claimed ISIS was continuing to be funded by wealthy individuals from both Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

He said: "I don't say the governments have been doing it, but their rich businessmen certainly have."
Saudi money and weapons for anti-regime forces have poured into Syria soon after the country plunged into civil war.

Why are so many EU states still ever so closely connected to Saudi Arabia?: It comes down to one simple answer - Arms Sales: (click here) EU arms sales contributed to a large extend in propping up Saudi Arabia's military and indirectly also contribute to increased  terrorism and violence in the Middle East.
 
British figures show that Saudi Arabia has twice as many British-made warplanes as the entire RAF, and these same Government figures show two-thirds of British-made arms go to the Middle East with Saudi by far the major buyer.
 
On a global scale the above picture becomes even more interwoven and complex when we include the US in this scenario. They are not only the closest Saudi Arabia ally, but the US is also the major exporter of arms to the Kingdom. 

Just recently the U.S. approved a $1.29 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, despite widespread mounting evidence of the country’s mass atrocities and possible war crimes in neighboring Yemen.  
 
This sale included  over 10,000 bombs, munitions, and weapons parts produced by Boeing and Raytheon. of which 5,200 Paveway II “laser guided” and 12,000 “general purpose” bombs. “Bunker Busters,” designed to destroy concrete structures. 
 
Total US arms sales to the Saudi Kingdom last year are estimated to have been close or over $50billion.
 
As the Shakespearean saying goes: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark". 

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