Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

We should not support Saudis

Reading about the arrest of 30 to 50 protesters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, following a demonstration against poor infrastructure, it seems ridiculous our Government continues its support for this hideously repressive regime.

According to The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index, Saudi Arabia is the seventh most authoritarian regime of 167 countries rated. (Political parties are banned and homosexuality is punishable with the death penalty.)

Apparently, the demonstration lasted 15 minutes and was composed of protesters shouting, 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great).

But our 'enlightened' Conservative-Liberal coalition is bent on selling arms in large quantities to unsavoury Arab countries.

On Cameron's arms sales mission to the Middle East last month, he claimed Britain has "nothing to be ashamed of".

You can't claim to uphold the virtues of human rights, democracy and representative government and continue to prop up these authoritarian regimes.

LOUIS SHAWCROSS

Hillsborough, Co Down

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