US-Backed Saudi Crimes in Yemen Hidden from American people: Pundit
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior political analyst based in Detroit highlighted Washington’s widespread support for Riyadh’s onslaught on Yemen and said the Saudi-led coalition’s ongoing crimes in the Arabian Peninsula country are being hidden from the American people.
“The Saudi Arabian and (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) are currently bombing Yemen utilizing US-manufactured warplanes, intelligence guiding, refueling technology and diplomatic cover,” Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire, said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“This war, which I mentioned, is being coordinated by Washington, remains hidden from the American people,” the US analyst noted.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: In yet another case of crackdown on its people, the Riyadh regime in early December sentenced 15 citizens to death on trumped-up charges of spying. The kingdom also sentenced 15 other suspects to prison terms ranging from six months to 25 years. In a statement on December 6, Amnesty International called the trial “a travesty of justice and a serious violation of human rights.” Back in January, Saudi Arabia executed 47 prisoners, including Prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. His execution sparked widespread protests in the Arab country and across the globe. Saudi Arabia’s Shiite-dominated Eastern Province has also been the scene of repeated security incidents since 2011, mostly in the districts of Qatif and Awamiyah, which is the hometown of Sheikh Nimr. As you know, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International has called on the UN to immediately suspend the Riyadh regime’s membership on its rights council due to its appalling rights record. However, in a secret balloting process on October 28, the UN General Assembly elected Saudi Arabia to the UN Human Rights Council. What is your take on that? Why is the international community so passive on the human rights situation in the Arab country?
Azikiwe: It depends on who you define as the international community. If this means the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, France and their allies then it is quite obvious they are league with Saudi Arabia on various international issues including events in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The Saudi Arabian and (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) are currently bombing Yemen utilizing US-manufactured warplanes, intelligence guiding, refueling technology and diplomatic cover. The Saudis and their Coalition are acting as the US air and ground forces would in any war that Washington and Israel has waged over the quarter century. With so many human rights violation against the majority of its population including women, it is clear why Riyadh is not being held accountable for its actions inside the country.
Tasnim: Saudi Arabia is also denying its citizens of their basic rights. As you know, the kingdom is the only country in the world where women are forbidden to drive motor vehicles. Many women in the Arab country have been arrested just for driving. In your opinion, what is the ideology behind such a ban on women?
Azikiwe: I am sure they could not even give you a reasonable answer to this question in Riyadh. It is method to whole back half of the population of the country if not more. Malcolm X, El Hajj Malik Shabazz, (1925-1965) said in 1964 in reference to his travels throughout Africa and the Middle East that same year, that in countries where political and economic progress was being made the women were being encouraged to participate fully within society. In contrast, he noted, the countries where there was no progress, women were also being held back socially. Malcolm X had traveled twice that year to Saudi Arabia. Without mentioning the name of the country, it is almost certain that Saudi Arabia was at least one of the 17 states he had visited in 1964-65. In many countries throughout the Middle East and Africa today women are in government, education, science, healthcare, social services, construction, engineering and the media. This can explain in part why economic growth rates have accelerated because when you prioritize education and development across all sectors of society the people as a whole will benefit.
Tasnim: The Riyadh regime’s cruelties are not limited to its own country. The regime is also interfering in other countries’ internal affairs like in Yemen. Saudi Arabia and its staunch allies invaded Yemen in March 2015 with the aim of returning the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power. Since then, the people of the Arabian Peninsula country have been under massive attacks and airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition almost on a daily basis. What is your take on the heinous crimes committed by the Al Saud regime? How the international community can stop the atrocities?
Azikiwe: The situation in Yemen is atrocious. This war, which I mentioned, is being coordinated by Washington, remains hidden from the American people. Pointing out the Saudi-PGCC role in Yemen and other states in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf exposes the crimes being committed not only by Riyadh but also its supporters and allies. The genuine peace-loving organizations and states in the world should be persistent in their activism in solidarity with the people inside Saudi Arabia. The regime is being propped-up by the West and its cohorts in the region. There are many things which can be done in the metropolitan capitals such as the US, UK, and the EU states to demand an end to foreign aid and economic collaboration with states which routinely violate the basic human and civil rights of its citizens and residents.