21 October, 2020

Gunning For Oil

Between armaments and human rights, Britain chooses the first

Gunning For Oil
The British government's decision to deport Saudi Arabian dissident Mohammed al Mas'ari—under pres-sure from the Saudi royal family and the British armaments industry—sends out a clear message: all the loud talk of promotion of human rights and democracy abroad can be conveniently ignored when British commercial interests are at stake. Her Majesty's government—which rarely lets go of an opportunity in international fora to underscore its commitment to human rights and ignores the demands by economically weaker nations to curb the activities of their dissidents on British soil, citing its democratic traditions—has had no pangs of conscience in brazenly promoting the interest of its armaments industry.

Mas'ari, a professor of Physics in Saudi Arabia, was jailed in 1993 for dissidence but fled to Yemen and thereafter to Britain where he sought political asylum. While his application was under consideration, Mas'ari—through his organisation, the Committee for Defence of Legitimate Rights—campaigned against corruption and the denial of democratic rights in Saudi...



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