Saudi-British relations: silenced oppressions & complicity

November 20, 2018

Recently, Jamal Khashoggi’s horrific death has meant that the UK-Saudi relationship has come under scrutiny; unfortunately much more than the scrutiny that has come with the death and destruction of the lives of millions in Yemen, and the ongoing human rights abuses for those living and working in Saudi Arabia and those affected by Saudi Arabia’s international policies. On the 19th November, we co-hosted an event on ‘Saudi-British relations: silenced oppressions & complicity’.

With a focus on the effect on Yemenis and Bahrainis (Saudi’s role abroad), as well as on women, migrants, political dissidents and human rights defenders, the event covered Saudi’s role in oppression and repression domestically and beyond its borders. Whilst speakers spoke on how a Saudi-UK relationship is contributing to horrific consequences, we discussed why different oppressions are empathised with, why others are ignored, and crucially how we as students, organisers and members of the public can work in addressing our complicity and ending a horrific relationship in our attempt at showing solidarity.

We were honoured to be joined by Radhya and Ameen on the 19th:
Radhya Almutawakel (@RAlmutawakel) –  a human rights defender and the Yemeni co-founder and chairperson of Mwatana Organisation For Human Rights, an independent organisation working to defend and protect human rights in Yemen. Radhya joined us via video and you can see her short talk below.

Saudi-UK Relations: Radhya Almutawakel from Mwatana for Human Rights, Yemen

Massive thanks to all those who came to the event on the 19th Nov: 'Saudi-British relations: silenced oppressions & complicity'.Special thanks to Radhya from Mwatana for Human Rights and Ameen for their incredible insight and work. (You can see Radhya's video for the event below, and read Ameen's article that was mentioned and discussed at the event here: https://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2018/09/30/kingdom-of-fear/.).With a focus on the effect on Yemenis and Bahrainis (Saudi's role abroad), as well as on women, migrants, political dissidents and human rights defenders, the event covered Saudi's role in oppression and repression domestically and beyond its borders. In light of the recent reports on the 85 000 children under 5yrs that have died of starvation in Yemen since the war started, the reports of torture and sexual harssment of detained activists in Saudi, the decision by the Saudi government to deport scores of Rohingya refugees against their will, and the role of Saudi in repression in Bahrain (paritcularly in light of 'elections' whilst opposition parties are imprisoned) to name a few issues, it is crucial for us to work and organise to #StopArmingSaudi.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>This event was hosted and supported by Demilitarise King's, KCL Intersectional Feminist Society, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), CAAT Universities Network, MENA Solidarity, SOAS UNISON.For students at KCL, check out Demilitarise King's to learn how to get involved in demilitarisation on campus.If you're part of a university community but not King's, get involved by emailing universities@caat.org.uk (or visiting caatunis.net or following our twitter @CAATunis or our fb page Campaign Against Arms Trade Universities Network ).To get involved in demilitarisation in our public spaces, and society, and stopping the arms trade – visit our webpage (caat.org.uk) – there's lots to get involved in like stopping the 2019 DSEI Arms Fair, or showing support at our court case in April. You can also sign our petition to #StopArmingSaudi here: https://www.caat.org.uk/get-involved/act-now/petition/stop-arming-saudi-petition.Thank you to Solidarity with MENA Workers Network for their help in putting this event together!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>We set this event up before Israa Al-Ghomgham's trial which had been adjourned to the 21st November. She could be the first female human rights activist to be executed in Saudi. Israa, however, didn't turn up to the trial on the 21st whilst others that were part of the mass trial did, and it is unknown why. The next court case is due to take place on the 19th January 2019. Write to your MP expressing her immediate release, and the release of all human right defenders detained, and to #StopArmingSaudi. You can follow Israa's case, by following the twitter page that has been set up for her (@IsraaAlGhomgham – https://twitter.com/IsraaAlGhomgham).Huge thanks again for attending and we hope to see and work with many of you soon!Power & solidarity

Posted by Campaign Against Arms Trade on Friday, 30 November 2018

Ameen Nemer (@nimramen) –  an Arabian activist who has written and worked on repression and resistance within Saudi Arabia. You can read his latest article here.

This event was hosted and supported by Demilitarise King’s, KCL Intersectional Feminist Society, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), CAAT Universities Network, MENA Solidarity, SOAS UNISON.

In light of the recent reports on the 85 000 children under 5yrs that have died of starvation in Yemen since the war started, the reports of torture and sexual harassment of detained activists in Saudi, the decision by the Saudi government to deport scores of Rohingya refugees against their will, and the role of Saudi in repression in Bahrain (particularly in light of recent ‘elections’ whilst opposition parties are imprisoned) to name a few issues, it is crucial for us to work and organise to #StopArmingSaudi.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For students at KCL, check out Demilitarise King’s to learn how to get involved in demilitarisation on campus.

If you’re part of a university community but not King’s, get involved by emailing us (or visiting caatunis.net or following us on twitter (@CAATunis) or on Facebook.

To get involved in demilitarisation of our public spaces and society, and stopping the arms trade – visit the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) webpage, twitter (@CAATuk) and facebook!  there’s lots to get involved in like stopping the 2019 DSEI Arms Fair, or showing support at our court case in April. You can also write to your MP and sign our petition to #StopArmingSaudi

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

We set this event up before Israa Al-Ghomgham’s trial which had been adjourned to the 21st November. She could be the first female human rights activist to be executed in Saudi. Israa, however, didn’t turn up to the trial on the 21st whilst others that were part of the mass trial did, and it is unknown why. The next court case is due to take place on the 19th January 2019. Write to your MP expressing her immediate release, and the release of all human right defenders detained, and to #StopArmingSaudi. You can follow Israa’s case, by following the twitter page that has been set up for her (@IsraaAlGhomgham – https://twitter.com/IsraaAlGhomgham).

For updates on campaigns, events, or to for help on anti-arms organising, email us or visit our Join Us page.

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