UK contract to help train the Saudi Prison Service with their floggings and beheadings

The prisons in the Arab world, like many of the developing nations, has a reputation for being extremely grim and brutal. The Saudis’ ideas of justice are also very much at variance with western concepts. Quite apart from the fact that Saudi Arabia is a theocratic absolute monarchy, where any religion except Wahhabi Islam is banned and severely persecuted, other basic Western norms of justice simply don’t exist. Like innocence until proven guilty. I heard of case where one Westerner over there dropped dead of a heart attack while playing tennis with another westerner. As there was no-one else around, the Saudis immediately arrested the other man on suspicion of murder, and threw him in prison until his lawyers could get him out.

As for the morality of providing prison services for such a brutal and intolerant regime, the British arms industry has been selling their ‘products’ and ‘services’ to them for decades. These have included weapons that are banned under international convention, such as electronic batons and shields.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

In the light of Saudi Arabia’s decision to publicly flog a blogger a thousand times for being too liberal, here’s an interesting extract from a recent document* by the UK’s National Offender Management Service (my highlights):

MoJ Saudi 1

How exactly, I wonder, is the UK prison service going to help with the training of the Saudi Prison Service?

Teach them how to flog and behead people in public?

And without any apparent trace of irony – two paragraphs below the one describing how the UK is going to help the Saudis out with their floggings and beheadings – we find this one:

MoJ Saudi 2


Perhaps when the Ministry of Justice talks about the “depth and adaptability of the UK legal system” – it’s referring to the “depth and adaptability of the UK legal system” to now sell itself off to the highest bidder?


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