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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

Friday, May 13, 2005

Saudi Arabia Torture Update 

Some good news in the case of the Britons and other westerners falsely imprisoned by the Saudi Arabian government in 2001. I have received the following press release from Ron Jones, who was one of those falsely imprisoned and tortured;

Press Release

Ronald Grant Jones

V

Ministry of Interior Saudi Arabia & Anr

The above case has been listed for hearing before their Lordships in the House of Lords on 25th, 26th and 27th April 2006.

Best wishes for Mr. Jones in his case against Saudi Arabia. Those not familiar with the case should read my posts here and here on their ordeal. There's is the perfect example of what we get when we coddle dictators for the sake of short-term objectives, namely a secure supply of oil.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote an excellent piece that discussed very subject just last month.

I will report more on this story as updates arrive.

May 14 Update

Ron sent me a a story in the Daily Telegraph that helps to explain the situation:

A former City tax adviser who was tortured in Saudi Arabia has been told the Government will side with the Saudis against him in his fight for justice.

Ron Jones said he had a reassuring meeting with Foreign Office minister Lady Symons earlier this year at which she promised she would raise the issue at a top level meeting with Saudi ministers in February.

Lady Symons said the case would be raised again in March and wrote to Mr Jones to say she was hopeful that they could make "real progress".

But the 52-year-old has now received a letter telling him that the Government will intervene on behalf of the Saudis when the case is heard in the House of Lords.

Mr Jones, from West Sussex, is pursuing a £2.5 million claim for damages for wrongful arrest, torture, personal injury and loss of earnings.

His claim, which is seen as a test case for others, seeks to argue that the 1978 State Immunity Act is incompatible with the Human Rights Act and gives foreign states the right to shelter torturers.

His torture claims were bolstered by physical evidence found by doctors after his release following two months captivity in Saudi Arabia.

<>The Foreign Office consular division confirmed at the time: "[Mr Jones's] story was substantiated by evidence. Officials were in no doubt he was telling the truth."
...
He had been in Saudi Arabia for four months working for a petro-chemical company when he was injured by shrapnel in a bomb blast and taken to hospital where security forces dragged him from his bed and arrested him on suspicion of causing the explosion.
...
The men, who lived in constant fear of execution, spent two and a half years in Saudi jails - a year of which was in solitary confinement. They were released in August 2003.

Read the whole thing.
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