Saudi Arabia – a beautiful, ancient country full of wonderful heritage and mystical culture, not to mention the modern shopping malls and hotels. It is a magical tourist destination for 15 million people a year. However, despite all its splendour and wealth, one thing it is not renowned for us its human rights. There’s the 17 year old boy who has been tortured and sentenced to crucifixion for taking part in an anti-government protest. Women are forbidden from driving, going anywhere without a chaperone, and must cover themselves fully. It has executed 135 people so far this year, for such modern charges as witchcraft. In fact it ranks in the bottom 20 countries for human rights. So it’s completely inconceivable that they would be chosen to be part of the UN commission on human rights. That’s the commission whose founding resolution is that its members must be those who uphold the highest standards of human rights as an example to the rest of the world. Even more unbelievable that they would be chosen to lead the panel to select people to draft human rights legislation. But somehow that did happen.
So how did this happen? Wikileaks documents show that the UK government was instrumental in this atrocity. The Saudi government offered to swap votes with the UK in a Eurovision style pact – we vote for them if they vote for us. They also asked the UK to nominate them for membership – after all, who else could keep a straight face while nominating Saudi Arabia as a country which upholds the highest human rights standards. And finally, as if stooping to such depths is not evil enough, they paid the UK government for its efforts. Whether the UK government would have done the same for another valuable buyer of UK weapons, or whether such evil acts are reserved only for our best friends is unclear. Mwhahaha.