We have already corresponded on Saudi Arabia and weapons, but I would now like to draw to your attention the intention of the government to support Saudi Arabia in arresting people who are extremely likely to be tortured upon arrest. Under international law it is illegal to do anything which may result in torture, yet the government seems to be willing to allow British Police to support the Saudi Arabian police in the identification of suspects in the full knowledge that the Saudi police have used torture against such suspects on a regular basis. The BBC quotes a government spokesperson as saying “..if it was shown that the skills learned had been used in human rights violations, the Foreign Office and the college would "reconsider the training"”.
Given that there is already a considerable body of evidence that the Saudi police use torture (see for instance https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/saudi-arabia/report-saudi-arabia/ or https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/26/un-committee-against-torture-review-saudi-arabia) we should be using the precautionary principle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle) and not training police officers unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the results of our actions will not lead to torture.
Torture is one of the most serious crimes that exist, and is one of the few crimes where there is universal jurisdiction, it is therefore imperative that we ensure that we play no part in supporting it, either directly or indirectly.
Please will you:
· Write to the Home Office asking them to refuse visas for Saudi police officers to attend the police college.
· Write to the Home Office asking them to order the police college to desist from training any police force which uses torture.
Tom Franklinemail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Frazer Court
4 Frazer Court