Tag Archive | "Police"

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Report claims German police train Saudis in repression

Posted on 02 June 2011 by hashimilion

Dozens of officers in the German federal police have been involved in training Saudi Arabian security forces in how to search and occupy houses and deal with protests and uprisings, according to an investigative report by the television news magazine Fakt.

The report, aired Monday on public broadcaster ARD, quotes classified documents, unnamed German police officers and people involved in the training as saying their mission goes beyond the official description by the government to train in border security.

In March, Saudi forces entered neighboring Bahrain to support the Sunni-led regime, which was facing massive protests by majority Shiites. The troops violently suppressed the protests and dozens were killed.

“It was clear in March at the demonstrations that protesters were shot,” an unnamed German police trainer said in the report. “You don’t want to imagine what happens when these units trained by German police go ahead in their own country.”

In a statement e-mailed to Deutsche Welle, the Interior Ministry said it could not explicitly confirm the report and that training by German federal police in Saudi Arabia was for border observation and “leadership and decision-making processes.” It said the training courses do not serve to prepare police for protests, and that “human rights and the fundamentals of the rule of law” are included.

EADS defense contract

Fakt had previously reported in April that the German mission in Saudi Arabia was an essential part of a contract between the Saudis and the European defense firm EADS to improve border security.

EADS was hired to provide infrared cameras, laser sensors and ground radar along Saudi borders. The report said the Saudis had specifically requested German police trainers, and that EADS paid honorariums to the trainers, while their base salary came from the Interior Ministry.

The federal police union has confirmed that German police officers were cooperating with EADS at a training camp in Saudi Arabia. Missions of at least 25 German police officers have reportedly traveled to Saudi Arabia for three months at a time to take part in the training.

The Interior Ministry said in its statement that the federal police mission in Saudi Arabia was not on behalf of EADS, and that employees were paid through the German development organization GIZ.

Criticism from opposition

The involvement of German police in Saudi Arabia has from the beginning drawn heavy criticism from the political opposition and within the ranks of the German police force.

Green party politician Wolfgang Wieland said the German mission in Saudi Arabia should be abolished.

“Here, police are being trained in a dictatorship, in a backward regime,” he said. “That cannot be. A democracy like Germany is not allowed to do that.”

Jörg Radek, deputy chairman of the Trade Union of the Police, agreed. He said whether German police were training in border security or in dealing with protesters, they had no place in a country like Saudi Arabia.

“When this mission supports the unjust system in Saudi Arabia, that’s the point at which you have to say German police must withdraw,” he said.

Parliamentary review

The mission in Saudi Arabia has been reviewed by parliament, and is currently under another review requested by The Left party.

Reports last month said Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, who took over the position in March after his predecessor Thomas de Maiziere became defense minister, was surprised by the mission and was looking into it.

Armin Schuster, a parliamentarian in the ruling center-right Christian Democratic Union, defended the project in Saudi Arabia. He said while he understood objections to working there, Germany could not limit its cooperation exclusively to countries with identical values of law and justice.

“If you want to cooperate with a country on fighting terrorism, then you have to invest there,” he said. “For me it’s a principle of ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.'”

By Andrew Bowen

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Saudi Women Charged with Hate Crime After Spitting on Wal-Mart Customers

Posted on 18 May 2011 by hashimilion

A 21-year-old woman faces hate-crime charges after she repeatedly spat at a Walmart customer, and later proclaimed that “Americans are pushing us around,” according to police in Florida.

Nuha Mohammed Al-Doaifi, a Saudi Arabian national, faces a charge of battery with a hate-crime enhancement after Palm Bay police were called on Sunday to a Wal-Mart to investigate reports of a disturbance.

The hate-crime enhancement means that the battery charge could be elevated to a felony.

According to CBS affiliate WKMG, police said the incident started when Al-Doaifi attempted to roll a shopping cart into the store and struck the exit door.

A customer told her she was using the wrong door, prompting Al-Doaifi to allegedly spit in the person’s face before turning and walking into the store to go shopping, police said.

“Her actions were directed at random people based on their ethnicity, and that’s according to her own statement,” police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez told WKMG.

Witnesses said Al-Doaifi, accompanied by her 2-year-old son, also spit at another customer who apparently got too close to her. Several officers approached Al-Doaifi to talk in the store and asked her why she spat at customers.

“Americans are pushing us around,” Al-Doaifi stated before officers took her into custody, according to reports.

She was arrested and booked into the Brevard County Detention Center in Sharpes where she remained jailed on Monday.

“She’s also had an incident with one of her Florida Tech professors,” Martinez told the station. “She also spat at the professor. They have initiated procedures to have her sent back to Saudi Arabia.”

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Iranian Police Disperse Anti-Saudi Demo

Posted on 04 May 2011 by hashimilion

Iranian police dispersed hundreds of youths Tuesday at an Asian Champions League match between Iranian and Saudi sides protesting Saudi military aid to Bahrain in crushing a pro-democracy movement.

At the match between Iran’s Persepolis and the Saudi team Al-Ittihad, some 300-400 youths dressed in black and carrying Bahraini flags began protesting. They were first rounded up and isolated in a section of the stands before being expelled from the stadium shortly after the second half began.

The protesters, some of whom were arrested, shouted “Death to the Al-Sauds” and “Death to the Al-Khalifas” in reference to the ruling dynasties in Saudi Arabia and its tiny neighbour Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia had already unsuccessfully sought to have the match, won 3-2 by Persepolis, to be played in another country for security reasons.

Iran is a predominantly Shiite Muslim country that repeatedly expressed its solidarity with protesters in Bahrain, a Shiite majority country, as they demanded reforms from the Sunni Muslim dynasty ruling them.

In mid-March, a Saudi-led Gulf military force entered Bahrain at its government’s request. That freed up Bahraini security forces to crush the protest movement.

Manama, for its part, accused Tehran of supporting the demonstrations.

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Saudi Police Crack Down on Jeddah Demonstrators

Posted on 29 January 2011 by hashimilion

Saudi Authorities have arrested tens of protesters on Friday after hundreds of people took part in a demonstration in one of Jeddah’s main commercial streets, Al Tahlia street.

The demonstators chanted anti government slogans and called for regime change after floods had destroyd the city for the second year running.

It is alleged that an angry women who had lost all her children in the floods had incited members of a mosque, which added extra imputus to the demonstration.

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