No – not us – one hopes. It’s the Saudi power-brokers. They are surprised and dismayed most of the world has a problem with their values, justice system, punishments.
No idea how anybody can even play-act being surprised and dismayed at other people’s reactions, while doling out sentences like hacking off hands, public beatings and floggings, public beheadings and other non-reversable punishments. Especially, when the causes for doling out such severe measures are underpinned by sets of rules shared with groups like IS and Boko Haram – to name a few recent examples.
Nevertheless: the Saudi government is surprised and dismayed. Their charm offensive started a few days ago. Journalist Kevin Sullivan was allowed to visit a Saudi prison. No, of course the al-Hair prison is nothing like the kind, where people like mr Badawi or his lawyer mr Abulkhair are held.
No, mr Sullivan was allowed to visit a prison full of terrorists and IS fans. When cells were opened at random, the prisoners told him they were well treated. The prisoners can even earn favours and perks. Now isn’t that nice!
Yet, as stated in his article, it’s of course rather unhealthy to complain about treatments while prison guards are standing in the doorway. On the other hand, the article’s subtitle was “this is what Islam tells us to do “.
Nice to read terrorists are able to earn perks and privileges. One wonders: can mr Badawi, mr Abulkhair, and prisoners like them – bloggers, human right activists, and similar dangerous persons imprisoned in Saudi Arabia – obtain perks and privileges too?
Regardless: mr Sullivan’s report appeared on the Washington Post’s website on the 1st of March. It was then picked up by other newspapers. It’s now the 9th of March and articles appear about the Saudi government being really, really surprised and dismayed that such a large part of the world does not share their values about justice and punishment. Not sure about you but I’m not impressed.
I was impressed to read Prince Charles brought up human rights and the Badawi case while kowtowing to the Saudi Royal Family. Now, the German vice-chancellor also brought up the Badawi case, while chatting amiably with Saudi representatives. The effect will probably be zill again. After all: while Prince Charles was kowtowing – beheadings, floggings, other punishments went on regardless.
In the meantime, Boko Haram sucked up to IS. Won’t take long, one suspects, before more people in Africa will have to cope with Sharia laws and end up with chopped off hands and – or – heads.
In the meantime, IS continues to meet out punishments using a similar set of rules and justifications as Saudi Arabia. Recent punishments included throwing men off towers and then stoning to death any victims still alive. What happens to women and children under this set of laws and justifications, of course goes mostly unreported.
In the meantime, the Indonesian Government is also working on its capital punishment track record. One wonders when journalists will be allowed to visit an Indonesian prison to chit-chat with inmates. Or when reports will be published, stating the Indonesian government is upset and dismayed and highly surprised about quite a few people in this world being truly upset and dismayed and finding it unacceptable that mentally ill prisoners are shot dead by firing squads.